From repurposed art to family treasures: a 411 on this year’s Art Fair

From repurposed art to family treasures: a 411 on this year’s Art Fair

Too overwhelmed to read the wall text? We gotchu.

Once a year, The Link carpark turns into the art exhibition of our dreams — we’re talking about Art Fair Philippines. From Feb. 22 to 24, the seventh edition of Art Fair celebrates the arts and the appreciation for it through curated exhibitions, talks, and events beyond The Link. People call it the biggest art event of the year, and rightly so.

What’s considered as the main event is ArtFairPH/Projects. With work commissioned specifically for the fair, this highlight focuses on artists who have made an impact both critically and commercially. Here’s the lowdown on who’s who, and what you can expect from this year’s fair:

David Medalla’s “A Stitch In Time”
Do you feel more drawn to art of the participative kind? The arts’ grand old man David Medalla stages A Stitch In Time, a 15-meter long suspended canvas that allows you to attach any keepsake from photographs to promises. Featured all over the world, it finally comes home to Manila.

Ray Albano’s “Step on the Sand and Make Footprints”
The legendary CCP curator lives on through his art, most especially in the Art Fair PH’s recreation of his Tokyo International Biennial Exhibition of Prints-winning “Step on the Sand and Make Footprints”. It’s exactly what the title is: an interactive installation of a sandbox, inviting viewers to step on the sand and leave a mark.

Mauro “Malang” Santos’ “Malang’s Women”
Malang Santos’ renowned works featuring women from all walks of life finds a new home in Art Fair. Soler Santos, Malang’s son and an accomplished artist himself, will be assembling a variety of his father’s works. From charcoal to ink, the drawings made in the ‘80s and ‘90s have been kept as a family treasure all these years and will be exhibited for the first time.

Fernando Botero’s “Botero in Asia”
If you love the art style Boterismo, you have Fernando Botero to thank for that. His rich colored works of exaggerated, round proportions will be on full display at Art Fair PH. This capsule retrospective exhibition — the first of its kind to be ever assembled in the country — will span Botero’s work from the 1970s to the present.

Liv Vinluan’s “Nung Gambalain Yung Sayawan / The Disruption of Dance”
A single roll of paper is usually two-dimensional but in the right hands, it can be structural in form. Karen G. Montinola Grant recipient Liv Vinluan celebrates textile design with her piece: a seemingly floating — and endless — loop of tableaus of sketches on both sides of the paper.

Ryan Villamael’s “Behold A City”
Sourced from photographs and maps, Ryan Villamael creates a love letter to Manila through a reimagination of the city we all love and/or hate. Ryan’s works— inspired sculptures and installations primarily made of paper —  have appeared in the international art scene including the Singapore Biennale.

Oscar “Oca” Villamiel’s “Cheap Medicine”
Known for sprawling installations made from found objects, Oscar Villamiel’s work reflects the artist’s discontent with the current state of affairs. One example this is his installation “Cheap Medicine,” coconut shells painted as heads frozen in extreme euphoria. You see, laughter isn’t just the best medicine — it’s the cheapest, too.

Ian Fabro’sInferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso”
Taking cue from Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, Ian Fabro’s triptych visualizes how the sacred and profane share the same skin. His works of assemblage (he sketches, tears them up, and reassembles) have been called lush, hypnotic, and oracular — fitting for the human condition, the very thing he depicts.

Christina Quisumbing Ramilo’s “Forest for the Trees”
The artist’s love for collecting and repurposing for her art is evidenced with “Forest for the Trees.”  A library of books made of wood, the reclaimed pieces offer insight to the wood’s history with annotations of its origins. The phrase “if these walls could talk” takes on a whole new meaning, right?

Olivia d’Aboville’s “Everything, Everywhere, Everyone”
Along with everyone, the ocean was always in Olivia d’Aboville’s mind. She uses plastic — the sea’s enemy — for art and education, as she creates a juxtaposition of the times: a sea made of the very thing it’s polluted with. Her piece takes the shape as an unstoppable wave, ready to crash its debris to the people who created it.

MM Yu’s “Subject / Object”
Underlining the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” photographer MM Yu assembles an exhibit devoid of chronological order or theme. With only the medium itself to tell the story, this take on the visual art narrative leads Art Fair’s photography section.

Art Fair Philippines 2019 will run from Feb. 22 to 24. Tickets are available on

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