Art Fair Philippines 2021 is set to revolve around all things digital art as well as some new additions and sections.
Most Filipinos, like most people around the world, spent the majority of 2020 online. Zoom, video calls, and streaming parties were all the rage last year. Many people were already slowly transitioning their lives to a more digital approach and that trend only accelerated in the past year. This increase in digitalization of lifestyle is the main theme of this year’s Art Fair Philippines. Metaverse, as this year’s Art Fair Philippines will be called, will revolve around all things digital and that starts with how it will be presented this year. For the first time in the fair’s history, the entire 10-day event (May 6-May 15) will be held online through their website. To further the equal opportunity, access is free to everyone. The lineup, events, and programs of the fair also reflect the digital theme. Here is everything you need to know about Art Fair Philippines 2021.
Over 43 exhibitors, both from the Philippines and abroad, are expected to showcase artworks during the course of the fair. Their works can be viewed through online viewing rooms and will also include videos to further enhance the experience and teach the viewer more about the artworks.
This year’s exhibitors are as follows: 1335Mabini, A3 Arndt Art Agency, Altro Mondo Gallery, Archivo 1984, Art Agenda S.E.A. (Singapore), Art Cube, Art Elaan, Art Porters Gallery (Singapore), Art Underground, Art Verite Gallery, art/n23, Artery Art Space, Avellana Art Gallery, bio|trans|forms, CANVAS, District Gallery, Gajah Gallery (Singapore), Galeria Mayoral (Spain), Galerie Roberto, Galerie Stephanie, Gallery Kogure (Japan), J Studio, J StudioHQ, Kaida Contemporary, Kobayashi Gallery (Japan), La Lanta Gallery (Thailand), León Gallery, Lotus Asian Art, Metro Gallery, Mono8 Gallery, Orange Project, Pinaglabanan Gallery, Primo Marella Gallery (Italy), Qube Gallery, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Shutterspace Studios, Silverlens, Tarzeer Pictures, The Crucible Gallery, Thomas Epperson Photographs, Yavuz Gallery (Singapore and Australia), and Ysobel Art Gallery.
Arguably the main highlight of the fair, Art Fair Philippines will include a whole section dedicated to NFTs in their ArtFairPH/Projects section. For those of you who don’t know, NFT stands for non-fungible tokens. Fungible means that it can be replaced by something else that is similar such as when you trade one bitcoin for another. NFTs are one of a kind, unique, and cannot be replaced. They can be anything digital like music, but it’s mostly been used as a way to sell digital art. NFTs are designed such that it gives you the unique ownership of an artwork. Think of it as like buying a Van Gogh painting, a lot of people can buy a Van Gogh print, but you own the original. Now replace Van Gogh with a digital artist like Beeple and that’s how, more or less, the current system operates.
The section will include a multitude of talks and showcases on anything and everything NFTs. Some of the talks include Crypto NFT 101, how to buy an NFT, and meet and greets with artists and curators of digital art. There will also be an NFT sale, so you can get the chance to own one or add another one to your collection. This section of the fair will be co-curated with Tropical Futures Institute, a multi-disciplinary think tank studio based in Cebu, Philippines, and Narra Art Gallery, a Filipino digital art gallery.
A popular section of Art Fair Philippines is ArtFairPH/Photo and this year, it will feature a selection of photographers with unique styles as a way to show photography as a form of contemporary art. The highlight for this year is the collection of Paris-based Filipino photographer, Ding Panganiban, as he showcases his ambrotype collodion process of developing photographs taken with a vintage camera and printed on glass.
For ArtFairPH/Film, the section will be the place to be if you want to watch and look at digital artworks. All of the digital artworks shown in this section were specially commissioned for the fair. There will also be a playlist curated for the fair by Daata, a digital platform that commissions original digital artworks by established and emerging artists, allowing viewers to stream or download high-quality digital artworks on any device. Some of the artists featured are Jeremy Couillard and Petra Cortright, and Keiken, a collaborative practice co-founded by artists Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori, and Isabel Ramos.
Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize
This new section of the fair will feature the six winners of the Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize. Held from November 5, 2020, to February 28, 2021, the submissions were open to artists in Southeast Asia from 18 to 40 years old and focused on digital art. The competition had two categories, Still Image, and Moving Image.
Part of Art Fair Philippines’ mission to educate people about all things art, this section of the fair will feature dozens of talks and discussions by industry leaders, experts, and practitioners about a wide range of topics. For a full list of the talks and their time, check out their website.
While most of us can’t leave the home to visit a museum or art gallery, Art Fair Philippines is bringing the galleries to us with ArtFairPH/Tours. The fair currently has two tours scheduled: a tour of screenwriter Moira Lang’s private art collection in her Baguio home, and a studio tour with visual artist Alfredo Esquillo of Eskinita Art Farm in Batangas, which also serves as a gallery space. You can register for a tour here.
Get some hands-on experience with ArtFairPH/OpenStudios. This section features a selection of live demonstrations and workshops to teach visitors how to make art. Learn how to hand-make paper from piña and abaca fibers, make books with simple materials, and much more. You can register for a workshop here.
Art Fair Philippines 2021 is introducing ArtFairPH/Residences, which gives the opportunity to five Filipinos to have an art residency program in five art spaces and galleries all over the Philippines. The program is open to all Filipinos from all walks of life currently residing in the Philippines. The residencies will take place in the following places: Manila Observatory in Quezon City, Linangan Art Residency in Alfonzo, Cavite, Emerging Islands in San Juan, La Union, The Orange Project in Bacolod, Negros Occidental, and Barrio Butanding in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The project completed during the artist’s residency will be shown at Art Fair Philippines 2022. You can check out all the details of the program here.
10 Days of Art
The festivities aren’t just limited to the fair. There will be events, pop-ups, and promos held during the duration of the fair to further promote it. For example, Run Rabbit Run is holding an online cocktail-making class on May 8, there will be an installation in Ayala Tower One’s fountain area to have live screenings of the selections of ArtFairPH/Film digital artwork, and many more.
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