Art Fair Philippines Preview

Filipino artists take centrestage
By Jaclyn Chong

Erizal As, ‘Flamboyance’, 2018, oil on canvas, 180 x 250cm. Image courtesy of Gajah Gallery.

Erizal As, ‘Flamboyance’, 2018, oil on canvas, 180 x 250cm. Image courtesy of Gajah Gallery.

Art Fair Philippines returns this year with 36 local galleries joined by 16 international galleries from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan.

The regular highlight, ARTFAIRPH/PROJECTS, will showcase specially commissioned works this year. These are works from David Medalla who is presenting a participatory art piece for the first time, a conceptual installation by Ray Albano, and prints and drawings by Mauro Malang Santos.

Jirapat Tatsanasomboon, ‘Piss Off! (after R. Lichtenstein)’, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130cm. Image courtesy of La Lanta Fine Art.

Jirapat Tatsanasomboon, ‘Piss Off! (after R. Lichtenstein)’, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130cm. Image courtesy of La Lanta Fine Art.

While the fair remains focused on fostering the appreciation of Filipino art, there will be an entry of a few more Southeast Asian art galleries this year. First-time participant La Lanta Fine Art from Bangkok will be showing works by Jirapat Tatsanasomboon. His work pivots on the cultural relations between Thailand and the West, featuring characters from the Ramakien in juxtaposition with Western iconography. “We believe the Philippines has a strong collector base and we think it is important for our artists to be represented in one of the promising art markets in Southeast Asia,” says the gallery. The works are priced from USD5,500 for smaller pieces to USD13,300 for larger works.

Tran Tuan, ‘Convertible Boat’, 2018, resin sculpture, 18 x 51 x 20cm. Image courtesy of Vin Gallery.

Tran Tuan, ‘Convertible Boat’, 2018, resin sculpture, 18 x 51 x 20cm. Image courtesy of Vin Gallery.

Vin Gallery, will present new works by Vietnamese artists Richard Streitmatter-Tran, Tran Tuan and Doan Xuan Tang. Doan’s works take inspiration from the scenic landscapes of the Northwestern highlands of Vietnam, while Tran Tuan shapes boat sculptures out of notebook papers from school, reflecting on how rebelling against the rigid structures of the education system has informed his development as an artist today. The works are priced from USD800 to USD12,000.

Silverlens, one of the Filipino mainstays of the art fair, will participate with four booths: a main gallery booth, a photography booth as well as two special exhibitions for Ray Albano and Ryan Villamael. A highlight is Patricia Eustaquio’s tapestry ‘Babaylan’, which references Botong Francisco’s murals from the 1950s. Ray Albano’s historical Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) posters from the 1970s will also be exhibited. The works are priced from USD1,000 to USD50,000, a wide range for budding collectors and serious ones alike.

Ray Albano, ‘Recent Color Photographs’, 1981. Image courtesy of Silverlens.

Ray Albano, ‘Recent Color Photographs’, 1981. Image courtesy of Silverlens.

Artinformal will debut ceramicist Ella Mendoza, who works with the idea of mass-produced packing forms. Winnie Go, will be continuing her series of work entitled “An Apple A Day”.

Gajah Gallery will present a selection of works by contemporary artists in Southeast Asia. This includes works by Filipino artist Jigger Cruz, Erizal As, Fika Ria Santika, Ibrahim and Yunizar from Indonesia, Malaysian abstract artist Sabri Idrus as well as Suzann Victor from Singapore. The gallery will also feature a special exhibition booth showcasing teamLab, known for their interactive digital works and installations.

Art Fair Philippines will take place from 22 to 24 February at The Link Ayala Center Makati.