BRINGING art mavens and enthusiasts in an unconventional space, the third Art Fair Philippines showcased some of Philippine contemporary art’s finest last Feb. 5 to 8 by transforming The Link’s parking lot at Ayala Center in Makati into an art mecca.

More than 30 galleries from here and abroad participated.

An Advertising Arts graduate of the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD), Derek Tumala was The Drawing Room’s main feature as it displayed his “Sacred Geometry,” a video-mapping installation on sculpture.

Sacred geometry is a concept that goes back to 16th century Europe when scientists believed that nature followed geometric patterns.

“I was inspired from the study of sacred geometry that says geometry or shapes can be drawn to anything coming from nature,” Tumala shared. “I would like to present an artwork that will be perceived as a venerated object, so I interwove two media that convey a sense of divinity and tangibility.”

Five sculptures shaped like rock formations were mapped on the floor with gravel surrounding the pieces while video footage of different forms of water was projected on to them, becoming the only illuminating force upon the sculptures.

This created the illusion of the sculptures generating the light themselves.

“This manifests sacred geometry as an unnatural piece displaced from its origin, positioning the abstraction of the subject as a conceptual object,” Tumala said.

Charting a different territory, local clothing giant Bench, one of the co-presenters of this year’s fair, collaborated with internationally acclaimed artist Roland Ventura for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Ormoc, Leyte. Ventura created seven sculptures called “Eyeland,” showing an eye, with oars of different colors protruding from its center in the likeness of a rainbow.

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Ventura took inspiration from the boats used during relief operations in calamity areas by using the paddles’ colorful representation as a symbol of hope.

The CFAD graduate created one large version of the sculpture and six smaller ones, all of which were sold for the benefit of typhoon "Yolanda" victims.

Meanwhile, Tin-Aw Art Gallery staged a supermarket set-up for its booth as it displayed “Manufacturer’s Advice: Content May Vary.” More than a hundred artists, including controversial UST Fine Arts alumnus Mideo Cruz, painted on tin cans of different sizes, as if art were a commodity on a grocery.

Cruz used large cans of wall paint as his canvases and labeled them “Made in USA,” with the American flag as its color palette. Inside the can was a model of the human brain.

Art by Thomas Daquioag, Pablo Biglang-awa, and Melvin Culaba, all of whom are notable CFAD alumni, were also put on view in the Tin-Aw Art Gallery booth.

Displaying his trademark burin engravings on glass was Fine Arts alumnus Benjie Torrado at the Avellana Art Gallery booth. Usually used for wood engraving, burin is a steel cutting tool, which Torrado meticulously manipulated on glass.

His “Flash of the Mind” featured a face molded on glass with engraved webs on its cheeks and birds flying across its forehead, resulting in a three-dimensional piece.

Works by other Thomasian artists, such as National Artist Arturo Luz, glass sculptor Ramon Orlina, and monuments builder Eduardo Castrillo were also featured.

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