My Top 10 Picks at Art Fair PH 2019

I’m glad we were able to sneak a visit at the annual Art Fair PH held last Feb. 22-24 (salamat sa long weekend!) and also pleased that I could write something about it. I originally wanted this to be an insight for people who are yet to go there as I started writing this on the night of Feb. 23, pero dahil nawala at di na-autosave yung pinaghirapan kong draft, tinamad na ako. After few days though, nanghinayang rin ako at naisip na tapusin to. Right now, I’m trying to recall everything I lost.

This is just my impression on this year’s event, konting factual information na lang kasi marami na nun sa internet. The regular entrance ticket for adults costed P350 which was sulit naman, para ka lang nga nanuod ng movie, up to sawa pa. Once a year lang naman sya so you better grab the chance especially if you’re an art fan. It’s also a way of supporting the artists.

Dalawa lang kami ni Gene that day, his 1st and my 2nd (last was on 2017). I’m not sure pero parang mas konti yung artworks ngayon? O baka overwhelmed lang ako kasi 1st time ko nun saka mag-isa lang ako pumunta dati. Supposedly apat kami ngayon, pero di committed sa usapan yung mga niyaya ko kaya mejo bummed ako. May pa-gimik pa naman ako na pipili kaming lahat ng kanya-kanyang Top 10 artworks then we’ll explain why we chose each one of them. Pero ngayon ako na lang gagawa nun, dahil wala lang, trip ko lang. Kaso di namin natapos yung kalahati ng isang floor. Pinatayan na kami ng ilaw. 9 pm na pala yun, though marami pa ding tao sa loob nun. Totoo talaga yung aabutin ka ng kalahating araw to view all the artworks, ang dami kasi, kaya kakapusin ka ng oras kung pupunta ka ng 6 pm tulad namin. Mas maganda talaga pumunta sa umaga or early afternoon, mas konti tao. I also suggest you bring your own refreshments kasi nakakapagod rin, tapos ang mahal ng mga tinda dun. Pero kung keri mo, geh lang. Just be careful not to ruin the artworks by consuming it on designated areas. Sarap rin siguro magdala dun ng wine and cheese, pero pasimple lang kasi bawal magpasok ng malaking bag sa loob.

Sorry, walwal yung pics and they don’t give justice to the actual beauty of the artworks. Ayoko na din mag-edit, let’s get it straight from the cam. But before I show you my top picks, I assume you have to know my art preference first. Di naman ako ganun ka-credible so you don’t really have to take my words. I’m just looking for artworks that I’ll be able to relate to, thus, making this subjective. Minsan ayoko ng artworks na masyadong technical, yung masyadong perfect. Alam nyo yun? Ewan ko, baka naiinggit lang ako kasi di ko kaya yun.

I like it when an artist is capable of creating the strangest thing ever yet it feels familiar. I’m all into dark humor, irony, duality and the bizarre. Those are my jam.

Let’s begin:

10. “Utsurofune” by Ka Ho NG (black clay, oxidation firing, synchronous motor)

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The architect in me is simply pleased by this one. Sarap i-display sa kwarto or sa sarili mong office. I love the unfinished edges, like suggesting it broke off from something extra-terrestrial. It reminds me of Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi dome a little bit. Tapos umiikot pa sya (see video), like it’s controlled by an electro-magnetic alien shit. Ganda din ng kulay, is it silver? Is it gold? Can’t really tell. And that moon-like shadow? Amazing.

9. Step on the Sand and Make Footprints by Ray Albano (white sand)

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I didn’t know what to expect on this one. I guess sa exit kami pumasok ng room na to kaya wala ako nakitang title or description, and I wasn’t paying attention to the ground that’s why the sand surprised me. Sobrang simple lang, white sand in a white room and it’s designed for people to pass through. Natalinuhan lang kami ni Gene sa concept. A human’s unconscious material manipulation through footprints. The people are the ones who made the artwork without them realizing it at first. I just admire how the artist played that.

8. Angoona by Chamnan Chongpaiboon (acrylic on canvas)

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Ugh, I just love the charisma of this one throughout the room. Triggers an asian trypophobia up to the bits. I just wanna take it home! Feel the tingling sensation by looking at her face upclose. Lalo na sa personal.

7. Poison by Akiko Nakaya (FRP, waterpaint)

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I love everything about this sculpture! The anatomy, the facial expression – priceless! (also, that’s literally me after 20 burpees). Check Akiko Nakaya’s Instagram for more! New idol ko to!

6. Northwind II by Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan (screen print and flocking on paper)

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Napansin ko lang, ang hilig ko pala sa mga ganito. Another one that gives a tingling sensation! Ugh! Saraaap! Hahaha! I like how subtle and harmless it looks from a far, makes you curious, as if it’s luring you towards it like a prey, and then it’ll bite.

5. Underlying Fighting Spirit (Marerudo) by Chikako Motoyama (acrylic & oil on canvas)

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Juxtaposition at its best.

4. Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso by Ian Fabro

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Ito yung unang may pa-room na nagustuhan ko. Galing ng set-up – lighting and sounds, not to mention the skills for creating those images. If I’m not mistaken, that’s charcoal. How I wish I could feel this exhibition alone by standing between those 3 panels, pero siguro matatakot ako.

3. Alter-Bibo by Tekla Tamoria

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Di ko sure kung tama pagkaintindi ko, but I think you wear this alter-bibo for a performance art of losing oneself, or acting like this free entity that is not you, nor anyone else, as it stated that “selfhood was never a concrete entity.” Ang galing lang how they created, presented and realized this unknown, bizarre object. May videos, pictures, written description and most importantly, yung mismong alter-bibo.

2. Deeper Silence by Sid Natividad

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Sobrang galing nito. Paintings lang lahat, pero buhay na buhay! May pa-room rin sya, creating this peaceful, muted, underwater environment.

1. Finding the Light by Daniel dela Cruz

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I put this on number 1 because nothing beats art with a purpose. Ang heavy ng message nito, ang gaganda pa ng sculptures. It’s about bullying, depression and other modern day dilemmas we face today. Tapos may pa-sticky notes sa dulo para magdamayan at magmahalan. Charot

Special Mentions:

Cheap Medicine by Oscar Villamiel

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This one didn’t make the cut for me, kasi feeling namin may kulang, though maganda sana yung concept. Special mention lang kasi ang ganda sa pics, sayang naman kung di ko ipapakita. Joke!

My Little Museum by Norman Dreo

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Huling special mention lang kasi jusko, nagpapakahirap si kuya! Hahaha! Naabutan namin syang gumagawa pa, 2nd day na ng exhibition! Kumusta naman kasi yung maliliit na classical paintings! Tapos nakikita nyo yung parang kisame guys? Flat wall yan, flat wall! Pinerspective nya lang yung classical paintings! Tangena diba! Hahaha! I can’t even make a straight one! Idol kita kuya, ang galing mo! Di ko lang gets yung goal. Charot

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