Art Fair Philippines 2014: A Welcome Visual Assault

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art fair philippines 2014

I wouldn’t have missed going to the Art Fair Philippines 2014 for anything. Not even a bad cough that had me barking like a dog at times. Even if it meant standing in line for a long time to buy a ticket at the MRT, and being crushed, standing up, inside the train on my way home.

I went to the Art Fair’s 1st staging last year, was totally inspired by the experience, and vowed to go yearly as long as the venue was accessible. 

This year’s Art Fair is bigger than the initial run last year at the same venue, with more galleries and artists participating. For the second year in a row, part of Ayala Center Makati’s The Link carpark is transformed into a temporary art gallery to showcase the best of contemporary Philippine art.  This time the exhibit occupies not just one, but two levels.

Levels 6 & 7 of The Link were packed last Friday late afternoon with exhibit visitors consisting of a mix of artists, young and not-so-young Philippine art patrons and enthusiasts from all over, students, and the Makati office crowd.

Art Fair Philippines is the largest exhibit of its kind in the country. This is a rare chance for the public to see the works of so many talented Philippine visual artists, all in one roof. The works of some of the big names in the Philippine arts scene are on display, among them Ben Cabrera, Ramon Orlina, Impy Pilapil, and Ronald Ventura. It is also a great opportunity to be acquainted with the works of lesser known artists.

I was naturally drawn to the mixed media displays because I would sometimes experiment with found objects at home. Old photos, picture frames, old pieces of wood and cardboard, old toys, a bit of paint; all pieced together to form a new work of art and beauty. I also find religious-themed art fascinating, having been educated from kindergarten to post-graduate studies in Catholic schools.

Below are photos of a few works on display at the Art Fair:


Some of the works that I found striking were:

  • Alice in Wonderland-inspired sculptures by Daniel dela Cruz
  • Secret Fresh’s creepy yet oddly appealing garden creature
  • The colorful and odd-shaped ping-pong tables by Louie Cordero
  • Intricate thread art by Eugenia Alcaide
  • Swatch’s sweet macaron art installation
  • Jay Ticar’s paintings of destroyed homes evokes memories of earthquakes and Yolanda
  • Rodel Tapaya’s painting of mythological scenes
  • Ramon Orlina’s classic mother and child glass sculpture in pink

For the exhibit, designer Kenneth Cobonpue partnered with Habitat for Humanity to create metal candleholders shaped like houses on high stilts. Proceeds from the sale of these pieces go to Typhoon Haiyan relief.

art fair philippines_kenneth cobonpue

Seeing a lot of people patronizing the event is encouraging. Our country needs more events like these, for people to be exposed to the lively arts and culture scene. The arts isn’t just for artists and collectors. Art is part of our everyday life. In being exposed to talented artists, we hope to create a better, more beautiful environment for everyone to enjoy.

Even if you’re not a regular art exhibit goer, you should make time for this yearly art fair. After being pleasantly assaulted with different images of all shapes, colors and textures,  I can only describe the feeling as inspiring and uplifting.

Today, February 23,  is the last day of Art Fair Philippines 2014. Spend a relaxing Sunday checking out the best of Philippine contemporary art.

Visit the art fair website at and Facebook page at


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