The 10 Most Exciting Things About Art Fair Philippines 2021

It runs from May 6 to 15 through Art Fair Philippines' website.

Art Fair Philippines 2021
"Tad Mol: Inventor of the Letter G" by Jeremy Couillard
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

( The past year has seen a huge shift to the digital space. Streaming theater shows, online shopping, and Zoom meetings have become the norm as most of us try to stay home as much as possible to help minimize the effects of the pandemic. Art Fair Philippines is tapping into the digital sphere, too; making sure that the annual art event goes on despite strict quarantine measures.

Here are 10 reasons to be excited about Art Fair Philippines 2021:

You can check it out from the convenience of your home.

While walking up and down four levels of The Link is part of the ArtFairPH experience, exploring it from our computer screens looks promising, too. The Art Fair Philippines website is expected to transform into virtual booths come opening day and we can't wait to check out what the galleries have in store for us. This collective, virtual shared space is called the Metaverse, the new venue of ArtFairPH.


Plus, you don't have to dress up, worry about traffic and parking, or weave through a crowd.

It's completely free.

In the previous edition of Art Fair Philippines, a one-day ticket costs P350. You could also factor in gas or public transportation, food in case you get hungry, and post-ArtFairPH drinks with your friends just to talk about all that art you saw. With the 2021 edition now being completely online, you don't have to spend on any of those. Access to the website is free of charge.

#ArtFairPH 2021 is running for 10 whole days.

This year's Art Fair Philippines runs from May 6 to 15. That's 10 whole days of viewing art through the website, listening to art talks, and checking out virtual tours. There's no pressure to see everything all in one day (or one hour).

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Art Fair Philippines 2021
"motels a sept-iles 1x2 silver" by Petra Cortright
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Digital artwork is taking the spotlight.

While we're used to seeing huge canvases, sculptures and three-dimensional installations, and other works with tangible medium, Art Fair Philippines is taking advantage of its digital platform by putting the spotlight on digital art.

ArtFairPH/Film is letting you stream exclusive, high-quality digital artwork on any device through a partnership with digital platform Daata. Featured artists include Jeremy Couillard, who is known for video game and virtual reality works; and Petra Cortright, whose artistic practice stems from creating and manipulating digital files. Keiken, which is a collaborative practice based in London and Berlin, is also part of this year's digital art focus.

Julius Baer Group, which has always supported Art Fair Philippines, will be announcing the winners of their newly launched competition for Southeast Asian artists. The contest focuses on digital image and will be rewarding top three winners in two categories: still image and moving image.

There are up to 43 exhibitors.

Local and foreign exhibitors are showcasing works through online viewing rooms. The virtual booths also include videos, which are produced in collaboration with Globe Studios, to give you a glimpse of how the artwork would look if displayed in a gallery.

This year’s exhibitors include 1335Mabini, A3 Arndt Art Agency, Altro Mondo Gallery, Archivo 1984, Art Agenda S.E.A. (Singapore), Art Cube, Art Elaan, Art Porters Gallery (Singapore), Art Underground, Art Verite Gallery, art/n23, Artery Art Space, Avellana Art Gallery, bio|trans|forms, CANVAS, District Gallery, Gajah Gallery (Singapore), Galeria Mayoral (Spain), Galerie Roberto, Galerie Stephanie, Gallery Kogure (Japan), J Studio, J StudioHQ, Kaida Contemporary, Kobayashi Gallery (Japan), La Lanta Gallery (Thailand), León Gallery, Lotus Asian Art, Metro Gallery, Mono8 Gallery, Orange Project, Pinaglabanan Gallery, Primo Marella Gallery (Italy), Qube Gallery, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Shutterspace Studios, Silverlens, Tarzeer Pictures, The Crucible Gallery, Thomas Epperson Photographs, Yavuz Gallery (Singapore and Australia), and Ysobel Art Gallery.

Art Fair Philippines 2021
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

It's the perfect opportunity to get into non-fungible tokens.

Organizers have invited Tropical Futures Institute, a multi-disciplinary think tank and studio based in Cebu; and Narra Art Gallery, a Filipino digital art gallery for ArtFairPH/Projects. This year, the section is focusing on non-fungible tokens—and basically, what it means. Welcome to the Metaverse: The NFT 101 Showcase, which is presented by the Bank of the Philippine Islands, is giving us a more in-depth understanding of this trending platform within the crypto art community.

Art Fair Philippines 2021
Barrio Butanding in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

They're launching a new section: ArtFairPH/Residencies.

The annual art event is launching ArtFairPH/Residencies, which is an artist-residency program project in partnership with Bleeding Heart Rum Corporation, the makers of Don Papa Rum. Five artists selected will be paired with different art spaces in the country: Manila Observatory in Quezon City, Linangan Art Residency in Cavite, Emerging Islands in La Union, The Orange Project in Bacolod, and Barrio Butanding in Puerto Princesa. Their projects will be presented at Art Fair Philippines 2022.

You'll get a close look at a filmmaker's collection all the way in Baguio.

Virtual tours are also part of this year's edition. Take a look at filmmaker Moira Lang's art collection. Now residing in Baguio, she's known to have produced the six-hour Lav Diaz film Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2013), co-written Anak (2000) and the screenplay for Smaller and Smaller Circles (2017) and Patay Na Si Hesus (2016) among others.

Art Fair Philippines 2021
Photographer Ding Panganiban
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines 2021
"Ambrotype 2" by Ding Panganiban
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

It's a chance to look into (very) old-school photography.

ArtFairPH/Photo's special exhibit presents Paris-based Filipino photographer Ding Panganiban. He specializes in an old-school photographic process called wet plate collodion that was popular in the Victorian Era. With this process, the images are produced on glass or metal plates coated with salt nitrocellulose; then bathed with a silver nitrate solution. Think way, way before printing photos was as easy as using a laser or ink-jet printer; and even before film photography and developing in a darkroom came along.

You'll get to visit Alfredo Esquillo's studio without having to leave the couch.

Another virtual tour in the pipeline is a visit to Alfredo Esquillo's studio. He is known for capturing scenes of modern Philippines by juxtaposing them with sepia-toned still-life images from the past. He also owns Eskinita Art Farm in Batangas.

Art Fair Philippines 2021
Art Fair Philippines 2021 has lots of talks and workshops that you can attend while stuck at home.
PHOTO Courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Art Fair Philippines 2021 runs from May 6 to 15 through Art Fair Philippines' website.

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