How often can one step into an empty, run-of-the-mill mall parking lot, and imagine it filled to the brim with pure, unabashed contemporary art? It seems a nearly impossible feat, and yet it is exactly what went down at Art Fair Philippines, held last February 22 to 24 at The Link mall in Makati.
And yet, at the same time, it is perhaps this particular setting that best represents what is best about the Art Fair. Rather than the foreign, high-end pieces displayed in glass cases under harsh fluorescent lights like so many traditional museums, the Art Fair is by and large just that: a fair for art pieces of all kinds, all made by home-grown, urban artists. You won’t find any art-textbook names here; what you will find is a vibrant look at the up-and-coming — and thriving — urban art scene.
And all this is reflected immediately upon entering the space, which altogether comprises of four floors, housing over 50 exhibits — from traditional delicate watercolors to full-on interactive pieces that demand your participation in creating the piece. And even if artistic expression isn’t really your cup of tea, there is definitely something — or even a few things — that are sure to capture your attention, whether positively or not. As Cesar Cruz famously quoted, “Art is meant to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforted”, and Art Fair Philippines, if anything, has pieces that seem to cater to both.
The fair is currently celebrating its 6th year of bringing modern art to the mainstream, and with a steadily growing art scene in the Filipino urban landscape, it seems it won’t be going away anytime soon. See photos of some of the exhibits below.