It is clearer in these frantic days that it is necessary to pause and contemplate on things that offer enchantment. What elicits such feelings is no longer the typical artwork that might be imprinted in our minds, painted in oil or acrylic, depictions of scenes we know from daily life. Amidst cars honking in traffic, or the fast dating transactions that happen via the internet, we know that life is different now, and new kinds of creation may bring us back to life.

This is where Art Fair Philippines 2020 comes in. For those who are interested in contemporary art in the Philippines, this is the place to go, enjoy the sensory pleasures, and possibly invest in pieces that might not only add to your quality of life, but also be a future boost to your fiscal portfolio.

For those who are just about to get used to the new visual languages at Art Fair 2020, there are available goodies that will loosen up your inhibitions. Notable is a booth offering ARC Botanical Gin, which gives the alcoholic beverage a completely different reputation. Perhaps typically associated with a certain intensity of character that accommodates the challenges of rough living, ARC Botanical Gin presents a fragrant option that slides down the throat, with the right amount of heat that gin is known to endow the partaker.

After taking a bit of ARC Botanical Gin, I headed up to the Roofdeck, where I witnessed the curated performance of Partita for 8 voices by Carolyn Shaw. The curator, Carina Evangelista, arranged the visual and auditory space in such a way that the baybayin backdrop – part of a bigger project in relation to the artist Sol LeWitt – is experienced in view of the business establishments not far away, as well as the textured voices and vocalizations of the AUIT Vocal Chamber Ensemble, and the performance of Paul Alexander Moralesʻs choreography by danseur Michael Barry Que.  All of this came in contrast with the chitchat of Art Fair Philippines guests enjoying dinner and drinks. The curated creation, including the contrast, went well with the dark fruity taste of Joeʻs Brew craft beer being sampled for free.

“Kayod Kalabaw” from the collection “Paradoxikalye” by Guerrero Habulan

“I, Really, Really” by Dennis Bato

Perhaps, the sweet and slightly bitter alcohol that moves so smoothly down the gullet might be an interesting parallel to life as we live it today – fast-going, smooth, with a sense of the bitter. Hence, opportunities to stop and contemplate what might be postmodern life are available for purchase. Particularly notable is an installation piece entitled “I, Really, Really” by Dennis Bato, which is on sale at the stall of Artemis Art Gallery. This piece, made of old gadgets and disposed items that have been configured in the form of a robot-looking man lying on the floor.

Do we find ourselves as such as person, unable to cope with the weight and speed of our worldʻs latest developments? Are we beset with the desire to rediscover roots, or to find new ways of understanding? In any case, there will be a contemporary work of art for you to potentially invest in at Art Fair 2020. In any case, there are other pleasures to be had, even elegant time pieces from Hublot, one of the major sponsors of the event.

In case you might be needing a link to a sense of self-identification in this day and age, you might want to head off to The Link in Makati to partake of Art Fair 2020, running from February 21-23.

 

Images and text by Niccolo Rocamora Vitug