KNOWN as the country’s premiere event for contemporary art commissioning and exhibiting, Art Fair Philippines mirrored the changes in the modern visual art circuit with this year’s edition that featured local and foreign artists, including a number of Thomasians.
For its fifth installment, Art Fair Philippines occupied four floors of The Link Carpark in Makati City, because of the growing number of commissioned projects. The fair runs until Feb. 19.
One of the fair’s commisioned artists is alumnus Jose Tence Ruiz, who displayed an interactive and thought-provoking installation titled “Langue Lounge.” It featured a pinipig popsicle, a traditional Filipino dessert, surrounded by electric chairs with red cushions.
“This is a reflection of the current climate of our nation today,” Ruiz told the Varsitarian.
He said the ice cream is a metaphor for the lack of urgency of the Filipinos as “we like to lick death and sit comfortable with it, while conflict is in front of our eyes.”
Other artists commissioned for the 2017 lineup were Agnes Arellano, Elmer Borlongan, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, Emmanuel Garibay, Dex Fernandez, Mark Justiniani, Maria Jeona Zoleta and the WSK group of sound artists.
Trickie Lopa, one of the founders of Art Fair Philippines, said this year’s lineup for commissioned art aimed to develop the perception of the audiences about contemporary art.
“Our commissioned artists always try to incorporate something new because we want to encourage the audience to stay engaged with art that evolves and makes its viewers think. We wanted to make it compelling,” Lopa said in an interview.
Thomasian sculptor Ramon Orlina’s renowned glass sculptures were also on exhibit. His “Numero Uno” is a carved optical glass sculpture that depicts the number eight in a entwined manner.
Norberto Roldan, another fine arts alumnus, assembled cigar boxes and other objects into a collage with his mixed media “Fugitives from Years of Captivity (11).”
Other participating Thomasian artists included Jacob Lindo, Chati Coronel, Andres Barrioquinto, Mars, Bugaoan, Costantino Zicarelli, R.M. De Leon, Buen Calubayan, Justin Nuyda, Ronald Ventura, Alfredo Esquillo, Benjie Torrado, Raymond Legaspi and Rai Cruz.
A total of 46 galleries participated in this year’s art fair.
Photos by Jamillah N. Sta. Rosa