On its eleventh year, ManilART, the national art fair, focuses on “Showcasing the Global Filipino Artist”: from the nation’s storied past leading up to its future, there is much to be conveyed through the visual arts. This is in line with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)’s 2019 theme for Museums and Galleries Month, “Building a Nation, One Exhibit at a Time.”
This year’s theme has gone through a number of iterations, starting out as environmental and sustainability-oriented, but eventually taking a more encompassing stance, shares ManilART Fair Director Tess Rayos Del Sol: “Many of our homegrown artists are making a mark globally at competitions and major international fairs. They help tell the story of the Filipino struggle to define our national identity.”
For this, ManilART takes a step in the right direction. Art practitioners, exhibitors, and enthusiasts are enjoined to contribute to the cultural conversation
Environmental commentary, OFW diaspora
There is much that can be conveyed through art–-not just in the discovery of what it means to be Filipino, but also as a protest against long-standing issues from conflict to corruption, poverty to patriarchy, that disrupt the peace of our people.
Master painter Romulo “Mulong” Galicano is slated to unveil a large-scale painting, tackling climate change in his signature style that merges classical and contemporary techniques.
ManilART’s much-anticipated VIP Lounge will bring to light the issue of the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) diaspora: artists Susanito Sarnate and Anthony Palomo will collaborate for this installation. Sarnate is a clay and terracotta sculptor who hails from Negros Occidental, and Palomo is a Batangas-based painter who has mastered acrylic, oil, and watercolor media. Together, they will create art that explores the OFW’s experience: they will recreate their moments just before departure, as well as their gaze into the uncertain future.
Pushing the limits of mixed media collaboration
This year’s ManilART also takes a cue from the ancient East Asian tradition, in which poets, painters, and calligraphers would congregate to create unique multimedia artwork.
Titled “Dungaw,” the show will be a collaboration among ManilART curator and ostrich egg sculptor Danny Rayos del Sol, poet Riza Muyot, sculptor Agi Pagkatipunan, and painter-sculptor Kublai Millan. The resulting artworks will be interactive multimedia pieces with which the viewers can engage with. Poems will be translated into different Filipino languages, which is apt not just for the myriad of underrepresented groups in the country, but also the different backgrounds each artist hails from–-Muyot and Millan come from Davao; Pagkatipunan comes from Rizal, and Rayos del Sol comes from Taguig.
ManilART’s curated activities, and then some
ManilART is celebrated as part of NCCA’s Museums and Galleries Month, held every October, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 798. As such, Tess Rayos del Sol assures visitors that they will continue to hold exhibits, performances, walking tours, and forums–-but there is always something different to look forward to each year.
Rayos del Sol elaborates on its art education programs especially for students: “ManilART continues its advocacy to give students, families, teachers curated programs for learning. Public school students will be given a free walking art tour by the ManilART team of Facilitators.” ManilART has also collaborated with the premier art school, The Philippine High School for the Arts, for a day of seminars for public school teachers of Taguig.
ManilART, in partnership with Manila Bulletin, will also be hosting for the first time the Art for Red, the annual fundraising event for the Philippine Red Cross.
This year’s participating galleries are Galerie Francesca, Dave Art Gallery, ManilART Foundation, Incorporated, Legacy Art Gallery, Annual Sculpture Review, Singapore Contemporary Arts Society, Galerie Raphael, Galleria Nicolas, Gallery Nine, Canvas, 371 Art Space, Arte Pintura, Galerie Roberto,AC888, Renaissance Gallery, Galerie Anna, Blanc, Artery Manila, PASPI, Paseo Gallery, Art for Space, Galerie Y, ArtFarm, Artes Orientes, Art Circle, Quattrocento Gallery, Artologist, Ysobel Art Gallery, Artphile by CMG, Galerie Artes, Art Anton, and Espacio Manila.
ManilART'19 is co-presented by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Bonafide Art Galleries Organization Inc. (BAGO), and Manilart Foundation and supported by the City of Taguig, SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, SM Malls, Ladder Events Production, Don Papa Rum, Giffard, Savoroso, Via Mare, Museo Orlina, Shambala Living Museum with media partners, Manila Bulletin, Art+ Magazine, Manila Times, Metro Channel, Experience Travel and Living, EXPTV 080, Metro.Style, asianTraveler, Philippine Primer, BusinessWorld, UNTV, SMNI, Wish 107.5, Crossover 105.1 Manila, DZAR, Channel Hue TVEverywhere, and PINAS.
ManilART’19 will run from October 9-13, at the third level of the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City. Call 7798635 or visit www.manilart.org for more details.