Art reflects the times, and innovation is par for the course when it comes to “Forging Futures.” The theme alludes to the creation of new language–visual and technical– through a process that breaks down the form of the old, leaving the substance to take on a new shape, as in metal through a fiery forge. Art is its content, as well as medium, is redefined, expanded and renewed.
Now in its 14th year, ManilART is the longest-running visual arts fair in the Philippines, established in 2009 as an annual flagship project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). ManilART pushes onward with this theme, set to take place on October 19-23 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig.
There’s always something new to look forward to each year, and this year is groundbreaking for its featured exhibitions focusing on emerging artists, genres and forms, including the phygital and New Media.
Featured artists: from Impas to Orlina
ManilART ‘22 continues to introduce emerging talents: new artists joining the fray alongside established pioneers. The year’s line-up of masters to newcomers include the following:
The Annual Sculpture Review (ASR) will present the long-awaited debut of Anna Orlina, who carries on the family legacy of glassworking, infused with both the Orlina tradition and new techniques learned through study in three continents.
Gallery Nine will feature the multimedia power couple Maan Chua and Kublai Millan who are behind Balai Kalipay, a museum gallery with an advocacy for regional arts located in Malagos, Davao City as well as Mindanao Art. While Millan is an established visual artist, singer-songwriter Chua collaborates for the first time with her award-winning wearable art design.
Galerie du Soleil presents artistic visions from north and south with Danny Rayos del Sol and Jun Impas. Rayos del Sol, acclaimed for his ostrich egg sculptures, showcases intricate patterns from the Northern area of the Philippines carved on carabao skulls. Highlighting the Southern isles, Impas draws attention to day-to-day life in the indigenous community of the Manobo, who hold ancestral knowledge and identity that necessitates preservation.
Artes Orientes features Iloilo-based mixed media artist Rudy Yu, who is best known for his attention to detail in utilizing acrylic, pen and ink, gouache, and pencil. This year, he exhibits eight of his artworks centering on his visions, impressions, aspirations, and passion for art through his ubiquitous genre of city and landscapes.
For Museo de Pacis, their forthcoming exhibition focuses on connectivity—building bridges through art. Some of their headliners for this year include Vincent Gonzales and Raynante Concepcion Carandang. Gonzales is the proponent of the art style tareptepism, the dynamic art of merging influences to convey fluidity through visual arts. Carandang is a Batangueño hyperrealistic artist who focuses on social milieus while executing his technical approach.
At Pugad ni Art, Manny Cabrera focuses on the topic of emotional connection amid the pandemic; his works focus on the seemingly mundane, but powerful experience of missed intimacy during this period of isolation. They also showcase Alfonso Dato’s signature style, drawing inspiration from tree bark to capture the drama of men and women, the remaining fiber of humanity.
At Historia Arts, we see the works of Eman Santos and Noel Bueza. Santos’s work is a nod to the fair’s theme, where he melds money symbols into works of art that depict women’s empowerment as an instrument to forge futures while attracting prosperity and abundance. Bueza focuses on his vision for the future with his Mother Nature series, going back to basics in a world too fast-paced for its own good; he sees beauty in simpler ways of living, and his art represents the calm and beauty of mother nature.
Dry Brush artists present works that focus on the relationship between nature and man-made creations; they bring to the fore a dreamlike atmosphere where technology is utilized for the best purposes; by incorporating nature with man-made creations, they envision its positive impacts on society.
Bringing back phygital with Binance
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency platform, has partnered with ManilART to promote knowledge of New Media, particularly digital art in the form of NFTs. Talks and presentations are slated catered to different audiences on the New Media, but particularly one for artists on October 21 on “The Impact of NFTs on Filipino Artists.”
They are likewise supporting the debuting platform: NFT Manila which shall present select digital collections of galleries and artists. In 2021, ManilART had a first look at phygital artworks with last year’s “phygital” exhibition of Augmented-Reality facsimiles of artworks beside their physical pieces through Gallery Nine. This included the work of rising hyperrealist painter Ed Coronel, whose work, “Freedom,” recently garnered double first-place awards at the American Art Awards 2022. An expanded platform shall be introduced that carry paintings, sculptures and more media in NFT versions showcased in virtual galleries, with some Augmented Reality works capable of being interacted with.
Top artists showcasing NFTs this year include Romulo Galicano with “Geoengineering Against Faith” and Ramon Orlina’s “Orlina Mother and Child 2022 Edition”. Bell Sison’s “Astro” and “Porky Family” collection will be an interactive AR exhibit.
Open-invites to Mindanao art appreciation
Another educational content feature shall be a regional focus workshop with Mindawon artists Kublai Millan, Jeff Bangot and Victor Dumaguing.
On October 20 at 2 p.m., Jeff Bangot is slated to talk about “Sculpting the Souls of Creative Mindanaon” through the Lunang Mentoring Program; Bangot is an artist and teacher by profession, and the program reflects his life’s calling to educate through artistic ways. At 3 p.m., Millan shall reveal the culmination of his passion project to a public audience for the first time.
Over the course of two days, mixed media artist Victor Dumaguing will teach and demonstrate lukis sulam, a leaf-motif embroidery technique hailing from the Sulu archipelago. On October 20 at 4 p.m., Dumaguing shall introduce this distinctive style of textile embroidery from the province, composed of arrays of natural elements to produce an eye-catching totality through cloth.
On October 21 at 10:30 a.m., appreciation for Lukis Sulam continues through a workshop where applied techniques will be taught.
Forging futures beyond the fairgrounds
Satellite exhibitions affirm the national character of the fair by highlighting different regional shows concelebrating Museums and Galleries Month.
These upcoming shows include Balai Kalipay in Davao, Ap ‘Laya Gallery in Batangas, Tarlac Art at Tarlac, Pahiyas Art Gallery in Quezon, Angono Angkla Gallery in Rizal, BHL X in Bohol, and Pagsibol, the fifth National Watercolor Convention held at the GSIS Museo ng Sining at Pasay City.
This year’s participating galleries are 371 Art Space, AC 388, Annual Sculpture Review, Art For Space, Artes Orientes, AT Art Gallery, Dry Brush, Espacio Manila, Galerie Artes, Galerie Du Soleil, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Raphael, Galleria Nicolas, G9 Online, Gallery Nine, Historia Arts, M Gallery MNL, Museo de Pacis, Pugad ni Art, Renaissance Gallery, The Artologist, Village Art Gallery, and Ysobel Art Gallery.
Visit ManilART’s website for more details and grab your ticket via Ticketbooth.