By Dom Galeon
Images by Noel Pabalate
Every year, the fifth to seventh floors of The Link parking building in Ayala Center, Makati transforms into a house of art. But more than just housing various pieces of visual art, the Link becomes a portal into worlds of colors and shapes, on and off canvases, as part of the yearly Art Fair Philippines.
With over 50 galleries and hundreds of artists participating, this year’s Art Fair Philippines is no exception. Here are some of the worlds worth exploring.
Enter the digital art space, thanks to teamLab’s Reversible Rotation – Continuous, Black and White. Occupying a huge space on the fourth floor, this digital art is a continuous play on spatial calligraphy. Get lost in the world of black and white strokes, inspired by the traditional Japanese instrument sho.
See Manila like you’ve never seen it before, through the eyes of Ryan Villamael, who recreates an image of the city with all its complexity, as a “nexus of heritage, modernity, and all sorts of compulsions.” Behold A City captures the grandeur of Manila through archive materials, mostly maps, which Ryan used to reconstruct the city.
Jump into the fabric of time with 77-year-old artist David Medalla’s A Stitch in Time, an interactive installation piece located on the fifth floor of The Link. Guests can weave a piece of history into the two long white fabrics that are central to David’s artwork.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to bring your own needle and thread. There are lots of them included in this installation art.
Go extra large as you explore the world of Fernando Botero’s art, on display on the fifth floor of The Link. Let the Columbian artist bring you into the realm of his exaggeratedly voluptuous works, led by the music of the Man with Violin.
Sink or swim in the world of Sid Natividad. With “Deeper Silence,” see a wet world come alive in his hyperrealist paintings, where every wave of water, every floating human figure looks as real as it gets.
Dive into the depths of the afterlife through Ian Fabro’s Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Located on the fifth floor of The Link, the piece offers an extra-sensorial treat. Surrounded by darkness, with haunting music playing in the background, gaze into Ian’s triptych, each bearing detailed images that seems inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divina Comedia.
Speaking of inferno, Anton del Castillo has a different take on the subject. In his solo exhibition on the sixth floor, he presents a meditation on sin. “Inferno,” as he calls the exhibit, features greed, sloth, pride, wrath, and envy in beautiful dystopian figures—paintings and sculptures—of men and women wearing gas masks.
Explore the realm of installation art with Vinyl on Vinyl. The works on display on the sixth floor include Consequence by David Bato, as well as Pinky Urmaza’s collages, and Demi Padua’s take on found objects.
From the darkness, find the light in Daniel dela Cruz’s exhibit on the seventh floor of The Link. “Finding the Light” is a collection of over 30 pieces of mixed media that explore the relationship between mental health and social media. There are sculptures with smartphones for faces, each representing topics that bombard people online, and distorted human figures tormented by long shards of glass. There is also a freedom wall of sorts, where guests can put messages on colorful post-its.
Enter the daring world of Faye Abantao, through piece Symbol of the Apostles. Faye’s work, which features a juxtaposition of religious images and modern symbols, is a dramatic commentary Philippine society and culture.
Take a stroll around a scene of greenery, through the works of Jim Orencio. Aptly called Healing Grounds, space offers not just a visual experience. As you admire the works on the wall, Jim leaves you with no choice but to step on the pile of dried leaves that litter the floor—you hear the leaves crunch with every step.
Today is the last day of Art Fair Philippines 2019, so make sure you drop by The Link in Makati for this once-a-year visual experience. Tickets are available at R350, with discounts for students, PWDs, and senior citizens who present valid IDs.
Tags: Anton del Castillo, art, Art Fair Philippines, Daniel dela Cruz, David Bato, David Medalla, Demi Padua, Dom Galeon, Faye Abantao, Fernando Botero, Ian Fabro, Jim Orencio, Noel Pabalate, Pinky Urmaza, Ryan Villamael, Sid Natividad