Art Fair Philippines 2020, an oasis in the city

Breaking the routine of clerkship with a visit to Art Fair Philippines 2020.

A weekend breather

Clerkship may involve an endless routine, but there are always exciting stories unfolding in the hospital. (Having the energy to tell the tales when you get home is a different matter). But I will admit that even the most exciting and adrenaline-filled rotations carry a touch of monotony.

So I am very very thankful I got the chance to have a weekend breather at the Art Fair Philippines 2020 with my sister. (I say “weekend breather” because I really only had like 3 hours of Saturday and then Sunday free from surgery). It pierced through my normally empty weekends made of sleep and studying. And on its own, the Art Fair has always been a kind of calm in the middle of the storm that is Makati City.

Do I think I’m funny? Follow me on instagram (@jari_1995) for random odds and ends.
Chikako Motoyama. Inner Arms VI, 2019. Oil, acrylic, charcoal, canvas.

This is my 6th time going to the Art Fair, and probably 5th time with my sister. This year, the atmosphere was a little more relaxed and the exhibits a little less crowded, which my tired self appreciated. There were more activities and spaces dedicated to photography and even film.

I consider Art Fair Philippines as the best and most accessible exhibition of contemporary art for Filipinos based in Metro Manila. You can check out my other visits in this tag.

Selections from Art Fair PH 2020

Sol LeWitt & various artists. Wall Drawing #869A, 2020. Black, red, yellow and blue markers.
Making art democratic. The estate of the American artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), known as “the democratic hand”, continued his legacy by showcasing his kind of collaborative art. Various local hands came up to the fourth floor wall to draw a line inside a 96-inch square, roughly following the shape of the first. One person drew a colored line without using the same color as the line above. Black is not repeated. A first variation, Wall Drawing #869, was shown in Italy, 1998. This variation was first installed in Texas, November 2019.

At the same time, the fact that the “local hands” that participated were all celebrated artists made this piece not as democratic as it could have been. Casual visitors and enthusiasts should have been able to add some of their own bold strokes. There was another similar “democratic” piece, Wall Drawing #1217 These words are written on the wall, drawn on the landing of all four floors of the exhibit.

Catching light and water. Democratic art? Corporate-sponsored art is its antithesis.
James Clar. James Clar x AC Motors, 2020. Laser lights and water.

A little bit of the classics reworked with creative anatomy.
Eimi Suzuki. Top, left to right: Adam, Adam and Eve, Eve, 2019. Bottom: I can’t remember.

Eimi Suzuki. Eve, 2019. Acrylic paint, digital painting, canvas.
“The theme is the day the Eve was born. / A river from God is poured into the heart on the head of Eve sleeping at the center, and a snake, meaning a dangerous love, aims at Eve’s heart. / The moss-green-colored left lung symbolizes the Garden of Eden, the pink right lung shows the rib of Adam who became the cause of Eve’s birth.”

I’m a huge sucker for embroidery. I even had a phase where I wanted to try out this art form (progress stalled after impulse-buying all the materials). This one is romantic, sad, splintering, isolated. The forms are well-composed.
Abi Dionisio. Flesh and Needles, 2020.
In some detail. A disconnected nostalgia for a home. Abi Dionisio. Flesh and Needles, 2020.

Max Balatbat. Karnebal. In the Name of Flesh.
“The most resounding feature of Balatbat’s theme is the sculpture of a young girl holding sampaguita garlands, with her underwear pulled down. The immediacy of the image is striking, for how many news there are in which young girls, out to do some errands, were raped and murdered?” Words by Carlomar Arcangel Daoana.

Art with a political message is always art.

Instagram wall. Oh wait, that’s not the title. Also, I feel like Silverlens sponsored like 30% of the Art Fair.
Gabriel Barredo. Opera – Screaming Faces, 2015. Resin.

I have this odd affair with art which shows some bones and flowers and other delicately bleeding things. This unfortunately reminded me of the concept of Hanahaki Disease (will you dare search it online?).
Sita Inyai. Branching, 2019. Pen and ink on canvas.

It’s so bright and beautiful. As Marie Kondo might say, looking at this brings me joy. On a completely unrelated note, a lot of my favorites this year were from guest Thai and Japanese artists.
Nilraya Bundasak. Bella 2, 2019. Threads on fabric.

Gallery of Fine Arts. Obra Maestra, Or, What Makes a Masterpiece Most? 2020. Featuring works from Amorsolo to Ang Kiukok, and this random kid blurring my shot.

I’ve never seen the Link carpark with this much empty space before. These are wallpaper-worthy pieces.
Yunizar. Untitled and Untitled, 2019. Acrylic on canvas.

Credits to my sponsor

Basically my sister (follow her on her public instagram @myluckysnaps). Thank you for paying for my meals, my Art Fair Philippines 2020 tickets (full price!), my milk tea, and my pedicure. Even the parking.

I hope we get to go every year.

Team Color-Blocking with Jackets. P. S. I got this jacket for like less than 10USD in a bazaar!
Also a necessary shoutout to my sister’s photography skills, recently boosted by her new iPhone whatever.

Until next year!

For now, rest then back to work. ❤️

See more art-related posts here.

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