Filipinos have always been at the forefront of creation, as evidenced by a number of world-renowned Filipino artists. This year yet again, artists, curators, and creators meet in Makati City for a celebration of modern and contemporary Filipino art: the Art Fair Philippines 2017.
Now on its fifth year, the Art Fair runs from February 16 to 19, transforming The Link Carpark into a large nexus of art displays and activities. The fifth floor serves as the reception, while the sixth and seventh floors are devoted to 34 local and 12 international galleries, ten of which are interactive installations. The likes of Jose Tence Ruiz, one of the Filipino representatives in the 2015 Venice Biennale, and the predominantly feminist-driven Agnes Arellano are two of the local artists present at the show.
The Link’s roof deck will also hold lecture sessions with culture experts such as renowned Rizal biographer Ambeth Ocampo and art sociologist Sarah Thornton to discuss issues on contemporary art, its practices, and its place in the art world. Shuttles will wait outside to bring art enthusiasts to relevant museums around the Metro during the scheduled daily tours.
Complementing this year’s edition of the art event are public installations from February 9 to 19 in different art spaces, bars, restaurants, and retail stores.
Serving as the highlight of these installations, the Asian premiere of the British-born painter and filmmaker James Nares’s Street will be shown at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in the evenings of February 15 to 19. Street is a dream-like one-hour slow-motion video of New Yorkers passing through the city’s streets.
The Art Fair was conceptualized by its organizers, the “Art Fair ladies” a.k.a. Trickie Lopa, Dindin Araneta, and Lisa Periquet, in 2013 with the purpose of “bringing contemporary Filipino art to the people.” Since then, the Fair has seen steady growth and acceptance in viewership and participation—growing to 22,000 visitors from its original 6,000. Still, Lopa promises an upgrade to this year. “Believe us when we say it’s going to be bigger,” she says.
Tickets for the Art Fair Philippines 2017 cost P250. Students with ID can avail tickets for only P50, while Makati students can enter for free.