Scenes from Art Fair Philippines

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Updated Feb 23, 2017

I was looking at the Perfection installation when the lights flickered and in a few seconds, the guards streamed in the booth and started announcing that the show was over. It was 9pm and I barely covered half of the 7th and last floor. Not surprising was the audible, collective gasp from the weary and thick Saturday night crowd.

I had not seen that much people in this city so interested in art. The fair features galleries spread across three floors of the The Link parking building across the Ayala Museum. For students of Makati, that’s a massive collection of free art; other students pay P50. For regular folks, that’s P250. One movie ticket, one unusual weekend. Why not.

Two floors down, in the first gallery, I felt like entering a jam-packed train, sliding my body into crevices  just to either get in or, for the most part, get out. People were taking selfies. Beautiful people were streaming in, looking so cute in their fashion blogger ensemble.

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One of the things I liked a lot was The Crucible Gallery particularly the geometric, abstract and minimalist work of Junyee and Gus Albor. Big, contemplative murals of Elmer Borlongan and Ferdie Montemayor of Pinto Art Museum were also definite highlights. The glass sculptures of Ramon Orlina takes you in a reflective dimension too alluring to pull away from.

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What I didn’t expect and perhaps my most favorite piece owing to its humor was the rather empty, pencil-lined boxes on the wall of Lyra Garcellano. It had captions like “A Particular Red Painting That Complements the Leather Coach” and “A Beautiful But Fake Caravaggio Made in China.” Baka hindi pa naikakabit, remarked someone behind me, maybe they were yet to put these up. Nope, that’s it.

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