Spotlight on Filipino Artists at ASIA NOW

Southeast Asian art establishes a presence at the Parisian art fair
By A&M

Vermont Coronel Jr., ‘Stored A/C 1’, 2018, four layer paper cut-out, 106.7 x 132cm. Image courtesy of The Drawing Room.

Vermont Coronel Jr., ‘Stored A/C 1’, 2018, four layer paper cut-out, 106.7 x 132cm. Image courtesy of The Drawing Room.

ASIA NOW opens in Paris today, 17 October and will run till 21 October. The fair, which launched in 2015 and is dedicated to showcasing contemporary Asian art to a European audience, has grown steadily and will present over 40 galleries in this edition.

Speaking about the success of the fair, ASIA NOW Co-Founder and Director Alexandra Fain says, “I think our strength is that the fair is built around its collectors and they are very much the beating heart of the fair.” She adds that the boutique size of the fair helps the fair’s remit to facilitate connections, saying, “We pride ourselves on providing an intimate space for collectors, artists and galleries which allows them to build a relationship that is different from what other larger fairs offer.” The prices of the artworks at the fair mostly range from EUR1,500 to EUR20,000, with highly covetable pieces going for up to EUR300,000.

Yeo Kaa, ‘This painting #2”, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 140 x 101.44cm. Image courtesy of Arndt Art Agency.

Yeo Kaa, ‘This painting #2”, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 140 x 101.44cm. Image courtesy of Arndt Art Agency.

In ASIA NOW 2018, Southeast Asian artists as well as galleries will have significant presence, especially from the Philippines. “From the very beginning we have welcomed galleries and artists from the Philippines and we are delighted that Finale Art File, Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery and The Drawing Room will be participating, showing artists such as Manuel Ocampo, who represented the Philippines at the Venice Biennale in 2017,” says Fain. “We’re also very excited to be hosting artist Yeo Kaa for a special project.”

Yeo Kaa is presented by A3, or Arndt Art Agency, who are also showing Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton. "For the agency, presenting the work of Filipino and Australian artists on this international platform allows us to provide exposure into new markets for both artists,” says Director Rachael Vance. “As each artist is respectively extremely successful within their own local regions, it is a logical progression for us to facilitate these opportunities within the wider global art market for that we work with and are confident in the positive response to these artistic positions within Paris." Prices of works at A3’s booth range from EUR2,500 to EUR9,000.

Manila-based The Drawing Room returns to the fair with more artworks from the Philippines. “If the works are well-received and bought, then all is well and good. But this is not the main objective,” says Director Cesar Villalon Jr. “We participate in ASIA NOW because the fair meets our objectives — we meet a lot of people genuinely interested in our art and many connect to our works.”

Vinyl on Vinyl, another gallery based in Manila, will be bringing works by Tekla Tamoria, who has a video installation of her performance art in the Philippines and another Filipino artist Reen Barrera who creates wooden sculptures.  Gallery Director Gabrielle deal Merced says, “We are happy to join this year as  Asia Now offers a platform that focuses on the East which gives a unique voice to a usually untapped audience. After years of joining Asian art fairs, this year our gallery focused more on joining fairs in Europe, and the response has been positive.”

David Chan, ‘Balance’, 2018, oil on linen, 71x71cm. Image courtesy of Art Seasons.

David Chan, ‘Balance’, 2018, oil on linen, 71x71cm. Image courtesy of Art Seasons.

Singapore-based Art Seasons is another Southeast Asian gallery participating and will bring works by Singaporean artist David Chan and Thai artist Komkrit Tepthian, among others, with prices ranging from EUR1,500 to EUR7,000. “Asian art, especially South East Asian art has been gaining popularity in European markets, with increasing collectors searching for and identifying good artists and artworks from these regions,” says Executive Director Terry Lee. “Therefore, we see this fair as an ideal platform to exhibit and show our artists and their artworks to the audience and collectors from Paris and the rest of Europe.”

Ronald Ventura, ‘Over Charge’, 2017, oil on canvas, 173 x 142 x 10cm (with frame). Image courtesy of Primo Marella Gallery.

Ronald Ventura, ‘Over Charge’, 2017, oil on canvas, 173 x 142 x 10cm (with frame). Image courtesy of Primo Marella Gallery.

European galleries with experience representing Southeast Asian artists are contributing to their presence at the art fair. Milan-based Primo Marella Gallery, which has been in operation for 25 years, are bringing works by six artists from China and Southeast Asia to continue their “questioning of the wide-spread and commonly-accepted Western centric vision of contemporary art” — with prices ranging from EUR10,000 to EUR200,000 — including art market darling Ronald Ventura from the Philippines and Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thai Tuan, as well as Chinese artist He Sen.

Tiong Gia Nguyen, ‘A Killing Field’, 2018, oil on wood, 200 x 100 x 1.7cm. Image courtesy of La Patinoire Royale Galerie Valérie Bach.

Tiong Gia Nguyen, ‘A Killing Field’, 2018, oil on wood, 200 x 100 x 1.7cm. Image courtesy of La Patinoire Royale Galerie Valérie Bach.

Brussels-based La Patinoire Royale Galerie Valérie Bach is presenting Vietnamese artist Trong Gia Nguyen — ‘A Killing Field’, an oil on wood piece is priced at EUR19,000 — and Japanese artist Yuken Teruya. “For us it is particularly interesting to showcase artists from Southeast Asia because they are very original, expressing themselves with sensitivity and a keen sense of aesthetics,” Gallery Director Constantin Chariot comments.

It will be interesting to see how galleries do at the fair, particularly for Southeast Asian artists, and we look forward to reporting back next week.

A&M is proud to be a media partner of ASIA NOW.

The article was updated 22 October 2018.