The Cebu stopover

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Monday, September 30, 2013

ManilaArt’s Cebu Caravan was a preview of the colossal wave of creativity that will unfold in the large-scale contemporary art fair that will be held in Taguig City this month. From Sept. 19 to 23, the Qube Gallery in The Henry Hotel staged a pocket exhibit, mounting over 50 works from esteemed artists all over the country as prelude to ManilaArt, which has been dubbed as “Asia’s hottest art fair,” and the biggest to be held in the Philippines.

Works of artists such as Jana Jumalon-Alano, Hersley-Ven Casero, Rey Aurelio, Paco Gorospe, Wyndelle Remonde, Stephen Abanto, Anna Lee Koosman and Jaime Gubaton were shown in the pocket exhibit. Simply a “preview” indeed, the display was only a tiny fraction of the total number of works that will be included in the actual fair.

According to ManilaArt’s Amy Loste, this year’s fair will have 31 participating galleries from all over the country, and will have over 1,000 never before seen works by Filipino artists. These figures are a huge jump from when the fair started five years ago; back then there were only 22 galleries that joined and with only over 400 artworks.


The Cebu Caravan was the first and by far the only regional exhibit of ManilaArt ever since the event was created. With the continuing support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Bonafide Art Galleries Organization (Bago), ManilaArt director Romana Go said that they were finally able to push through with their goal of reaching out to more artists and audiences throughout the country this year.

Aside from the pocket exhibit, they held outreach programs and conducted surveys and research on the current art scene in the regional communities. One of their recent discoveries were indigenous groups in Batanes that practiced traditional Filipino art, and whose practice has not been touched by Western aesthetics. “We want to create more positive attention for Filipino art and promote groups that not have been showcased to a larger audience,” Romana said.

Although ManilaArt has been named as such, she also clarified that the fair is not in any way “Manila-centric.” She said it is for branding purposes and that the main goal of the fair is to uphold Filipino art in its entirety—whether it originated in the capital or otherwise. In fact the theme for the fair this year is “celebrating variety.”

ManilaArt 2013 will be on Oct. 9 to 13 at the SMX Aura Convention Center in Taguig City. Aside from the artwork displays, there will also be workshops, demonstrations and other activities that will be conducted by the exhibitors.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2013.


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