It's been four years since Art Fair Philippines began to bring art closer to Filipinos of all ages, and all walks of life, with its diverse array of compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, and interactive exhibits laid out in a location that won't intimidate even the non-art lovers (and it's near a mall, too!). This year, there are three floors of exhibits of various installations around Metro Manila, and we highly advise you to check out all (Art Fair Philippines 2017 is until February 19 anyway), but if you're pressed for time, we rounded up nine must-see exhibits:
[related: ICYMI: These Visual Treats at Art Fair Philippines Will Make You Reflect on Life and Society]
1. James Nares’ Street. The two-hour long video showcases people walking around Manhattan, New York in slow motion. Likened to a dream, Street aims to display the beauty in places as busy as Manhattan.
Why this is a must-see: While the actual footage is just two and a half minutes, stretching it to two hours made it hypnotizing, it might even make you forget that the venue will already be closing. Prior to being exhibited here, Street was shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
Catch the special film presentation from February 14 to 19, 12nn–2pm and 5pm–9pm, at Tower One and Exchange Plaza fountain.
2. Charlie Co’s Bombarded. Co's public installation showcases his perspective on the different aspects of war: From violent, bloody wars, to the "bombardment" of information.
Why this is a must-see: Co, who specializes in paintings and sculptures, made use of everyday objects to create an installation that he deems best represents the world's situation today. Balloons and concrete blocks have never been more meaningful than in this social commentary.
You can view this public installation at Greenbelt Fashion Walk from February 9-19.
3. Dex Fernandez' Hobo in Wonderland. With input from publicly-contributed drawings, Fernandez will be transforming his Garapata icon into an on-the-spot animated video.
Why this is a must-see: It's a collaborative effort between Fernandez and people who contributed to featuring the journey of Garapata in different realms.
4. Elmer Borlongan, Emmanuel Garibay, and Mark Justiniani's Tagadagat mural. Brought together by The Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS), the trio will be creating a massive mural featuring a narrative about the Philippines.
Why this is a must-see: Tagadagat is Borlongan, Garibay, and Justiniani's first collaboration after 20 years.
5. Christian Marclay's Telephones. Part of the Julius Baer Art Collection, the 7 1/2 minute video compiles various clips of Hollywood's who's who talking on the phone.
Why this is a must-see: While Marclay's work may look like a video collage, a closer analysis of the piecemeal work reveals a new narrative.
6. WSK collective's All watched over by machines of loving grace. Using metal sheets, the interactive installation produces different kinds of sound.
Why this is a must-see: The fact that it is not a visual exhibit should be enough to spark your curiosity about the idea of making art through sound.
7. Arkiv Vilmansa's automotive art. With a Volkswagen Beetle as his canvas, the Indonesian-based artist will transform the commercial car into an art piece.
Why this is a must-see: Vehicles used as canvas may be a common sight, but Vilmansa's creative and colorful take on pop culture icons will give a new perspective on pop art.
8. Jose Tence Ruiz' The Langue Lounge. A massive installation that will be the centerpiece of Art Fair Philippines 2017, The Langue Lounge is comprised of a giant chocolate bar, depicted as a tongue, surrounded by electric chairs, pillows, and a red carpet: All elements giving a perspective of the country's current state.
Why this is a must-see: Ruiz made headlines in the art scene after representing the Philippines at the Venice Biennale in 2015 with Shoal, an installation mirroring BRP Sierra Madre, the lone ship beached at West Philippine Sea.
A part of Ruiz's "Langue Lounge" installation, which will be revealed to the public on February 16.
9. Karl Castro's Social Fabric. At first look, you'll already be impressed with how well-crafted Castro's bead artworks are, but upon closer inspection, you won't believe what you'll see. Castro's work gives a sublime perspective on voyeurism, fashioned into intricate beadwork.
Why this is a must-see: It's perhaps the boldest exhibit at Art Fair this year, by none other than an award-winning book designer, who has three National Book award trophies under his belt.
Art Fair Philippines will be at the 5F-7F, The Link Carpark, Ayala Center, Makati City, February 16-19. Tickets are at P250 (P50 for students with valid ID, and free for Makati students with valid ID).
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Photographs from Art Fair Philippines Official Facebook Page, Instagram.com/karlfmcastro, and Tad Ermitano's Facebook page