(SPOT.ph) After the great success of the first two, the bar is set exceptionally high for Art Fair Philippines 2015. That’s one way of looking at it. Another is this: Finally, a platform for art for everyone-artists, artist wannabes, curious onlookers, curators, collectors, and couples on a date. Every year is awesome because every year features fresh faces, new trends, old favorites, and plenty of surprises.
We’re listing 10 reasons why we’re clearing our calendar from February 5 to 8, in anticipation of the best in Philippine contemporary art.
1. All of the Top 10 Galleries in Metro Manila in one parking space
We’re more than happy to see all of the 10 galleries in our Best of 2014 list participating in this year’s celebration of Philippine contemporary art. Bring a handkerchief. You’re going to drool.
2. New galleries!
A total of 33 galleries (from last year’s 28) are participating this year, with Arndt, Artesan, Art Verite, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Galerie Michael Janssen, J Studio, Nunu Fine Art, ROH Projects, and Vinyl on Vinyl joining the fun.
3. Art elsewhere: eight galleries from outside the Philippines
We’re not just growing-we’re maturing, enough to attract artists from Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong to exhibit their works here. Who knew that a parking lot could become a platform for international art relations?
4. Re-crafted space
The industrial feel of the parking lot is an enormous part of what makes Art Fair Philppines the opposite of stiff and they’re going to keep the look-with some slight variations and fine-tuning care of Kenneth Cobonpue and his team. If you can visualize what an extra thousand square meters looks like, that’s how much bigger (literally) the third run is going to be.
5. Roberto Feleo
Art Fair Philippines organizer Trickie Lopa only had passionate words for featured artist Roberto Feleo, whom she describes as an unheralded artist who works with great conviction. A graduate of the UP College of Fine Arts who went on to teach at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Makiling, Laguna, Feleo has been producing masterpieces with images from our local mythology and folklore, and has influenced several generations of artists (including Rodel Tapaya, whose grand murals wowed art patrons in last year’s fair). His art will welcome us all as he takes over the central exhibit space this year.
6. Mike Adrao
Last year, it was Pio Abad’s art in scarves that received special attention under the Karen H. Montinola Selection. This time, Mike Adrao’s meticulous work with charcoal and pastel is receiving the honor. He made a stunning debut at Tin-Aw gallery in 2012, compensating for the time he spent out of the scene by producing large, intricate illustrations that bring back the real meaning of unique.
7. Interactive art and more
It’s going to be pretty hard to top Louie Cordero’s psychedelic table tennis...shindig, but the organizers are unfazed. It makes us weak in the knees to hear them talk about their vision with such clarity: bringing the best in Philippine contemporary art. We’re told that Tad Ermitaño will be providing engaging art for visitors and beyond that, expect even more enthralling exhibits from the different booths. (Mind you, we’re still trapped in the infinities Mark Justiniani created two years ago.)
8. Even more featured artists
Poklong Anading. Annie Cabigting. Buen Calubayan. Mariano Ching and Yasmin Sison. Kawayan de Guia. Alfredo Esquillo Jr. Geraldine Javier. Maria Taniguchi. Whether you know them or not, trust us when we say that this lineup is more than worth the P150 ticket price. (Just like last year was. How can anyone say that art in the Philippines is anything but booming?)
9. Lectures on collecting Southeast Asian art and the 2015 Venice Biennale
If you recently stumbled upon a trunk filled with gold coins and you’re itching to start your collection: Art Fair Philippines 2015 has a lecture that’ll help you get started. Dr. Patrick Flores, curator of the Philippine pavilion to the 56th Venice Biennale, will also share some insights on the state of local art.
10. CANVAS Mural
Remember that work in progress from the UP Lantern Parade? Now we’ll all get to see it stationary and complete.
Art Fair Philippines runs from February 5 to 8, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., at 6/F and 7/F of The Link, Parkway Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City.