(SPOT.ph) Since its inception, the annual Art Fair Philippines has not only put together a number of local and international galleries but also aimed the spotlight on a selection of artists that define each edition of Manila's biggest art festival. These personalities range from the legends, such as Mark Justiniani (2016) and Kidlat Tahimik (2018), to the younger generation, such as Jellyfish Kisses (2020) and Liv Vinluan (2019). Some Filipino artists are also posthumously featured, as was done with Eduardo Masferré in 2018 and Onib Olmedo in 2020.
With Art Fair Philippines returning to an in-person exhibition, the roster for ArtFairPH/Projects is now provided an exciting venue at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City to showcase new works made especially for the annual event. This is a ticketed section of the fair. Passes are at P150 and are available online.
Here are the 10 artists to watch at the 2022 edition Art Fair Philippines' Projects section:
Lazaro Salamat Soriano (1943 to 2020) was a painter, sculptor, and art restorer. Recognized as one of the CCP Thirteen Artists Awardees in 1992, he was known for his works that celebrated Filipino folk traditions, including community songs, proverbs, folklore, street games, and rituals. Some of his most famous pieces include the 1987 painting "Jak en Poy," which references the popular Pinoy children's game while depicting the state of Philippine politics post-EDSA.
Nune Alvarado (b. 1950) is a social realist painter from Sagay City, Negros Occidental. After finishing his advertising degree in Bacolod City in 1968, he moved to Manila to pursue fine arts at the University of the Philippines as a scholar of Purita Kalaw-Ledesma. During the Marcos regime, he was an active member of the Nagkakaisang Progresibong Arkitekto at Artista; then later Kaisahan, a group of painters with strong political and social orientation. He returned to Bacolod in the late '70s, then founded the Concerned Artists of the Philippines-Negros in 1983. Like Soriano, he received the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 1992.
Bjorn Calleja (b. 1981) graduated with a degree in advertising from Far Eastern University. He often does solo exhibitions at Secret Fresh Gallery and West Gallery, where his works delve into popular culture, kitsch, politics, and history. As a multidisciplinary artist, he dabbles in painting, sculpture, and animation and is influenced by the '80s and '90s.
Johanna Helmuth (b. 1992) received the 2018 Fernando Zobel Prize for Visual Arts in the Ateneo Art Awards and is a three-time semi-finalist of the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Award. Her works are described as highly textured figurative paintings, which often explore human relationships and societal pressures. Helmuth's technique involves the use of a palette knife, which contributes to the pieces' scratched and scraped appearance.
Ryan Jara (b. 1983) describes his works as "portraits of humans, animals and sometimes objects in realism with cubism style combined." Influenced by Pablo Picasso, he often exaggerates facial features and plays around with the symmetry of the human anatomy. He considers his art as his "diary of personal experiences."
The color red (either in ink or acrylic) and human anatomy are distinct elements in the works of Doctor Karayom (real name Russell Trinidad). Often using massive interactive installations, he explores the ironies of human conditions and relationships. Doktor Karayom is a recipient of the Ateneo Art Awards in 2017 and the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 2018.
Tyang Karyel (b. 1989) makes an interesting combination of folk art and '80s and '90s' pop culture in her works. She is a regular exhibitor at out-of-the-box galleries like Vinyl on Vinyl. Her works often evoke childhood memories from mundane things like plastic toys or candies, rendered in bright colors and squiggly lines.
Aze Ong (b. 1977) elevates the craft of crocheting to more than table spreads or bed covers. Her colorful crocheted creations vary, from a gigantic bell jar to an upside-down tulip, from funny hats to kimono-inspired robes, from traditional tribal clothing to an out-of-this-world impression of leaves. Ong also does performance art with her crochet pieces during exhibit openings. She was a recipient of the 2016 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship and has exhibited in Metro Manila, Davao City, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, South Korea, and the United States among others.
Wyndelle Remonde (b. 1986) hails from Cebu where he also completed a fine arts degree from the University of the Philippines. He often blurs the line in his medium as he explores silkscreen techniques, assemblages, and tie-dye canvases. Remonde's father was a traditional stencilist, a skill that he himself acquired and also uses in his works.
Melvin Gurheim is the Karen H. Montinola Selection’s featured artist for 2022. During a solo exhibition at the Art Elements Asian Gallery, he was quoted as saying "I have always trusted my instinct to draw things in a right way; my artworks embody the fragments of everyday life and I transform these into a collective whole. My practice is a testament that implies my longing for beauty and truth." For him, art is very personal and is a part of his self-discovery.
Art Fair Philippines 2022 runs from March 23 to April 1 at Ayala Triangle Gardens, Paseo De Roxas Street corner Makati Avenue corner Ayala Avenue, Makati City. For more information, visit Art Fair Philippines' website.
UPDATED (March 16): This article has been edited to include ticket details.
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