Manilart 10

It was not difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, the galleries that thought about what they would

At West Gallery, Roberto Chabet collage, "The Erection of the Obelisk"

show for Manilart 10 from those that did not. You could tell which ones regularly mount exhibits as opposed to those who simply maintain spaces to sell paintings.  I suppose, in the end, the commercial aspects of the fair outweighed all other considerations.  And with 55 galleries joining this year, you had enough paintings to satisfy all sorts of sensibilities (and I do mean ALL sorts!).

Ossie Tiangco and Yo Garcia of Pablo

I loved that Pablo treated their space as a venue to showcase an exciting, new collaboration.  I thought they had the best booth; they stood out because they dared to be different. They would not be out of place in any international art fair. You could sense that showing good art superseded  sales concerns.  For Pablo’s booth, Poklong Anading created a video installation that worked with a piece by Manila-based Australian artist David Griggs.  For How’s My Politics, Tel 666, David used a man-sized glass vitrine to simulate a taxicab’s windshield.  The vitrine, pierced randomly with bullet holes, stood at the center of the space.  It housed the projector from which Poklong’s film played. In Furry Tongue, Poklong took off from David’s portrayal of the glass vitrine as part of a vehicle.  Cars that ply the streets of Manila encounter streetchildren that offer to clean their windshields as they wait for the traffic lights to change.  Poklong experimented with using chocolate to soil his

At Manila Contemporary, Valeria Cavestany installation, "In and Out of the Booz"

windows, both as a treat for these kids and to give them something new to work with.  He propped his camera atop his car’s dashboard.  The five-minute video captured the process of wiping, rubbing, and cleaning up the chocolate.  Poklong squirted the booth’s walls with the same powdered chocolate mixture that he used on his dashboard.  The drips created textured patterns for the video’s backdrop.

Detail, Valeria Cavestany, "In and Out of the Booz"

I also enjoyed how Manila Contemporary used their four spaces to give us  Women Only, in effect, four exhibits. Valeria Cavestany mounted an eye catching installation.  In And Out Of The Booz resembled a psychedelic honeycomb.   She filled her entire booth with small palochina wine crates to contain brightly-colored and heavily-embellished wooden crosses.  It was so attractive, you couldn’t help but take a closer look.   The gallery’s other offerings included paintings by Amy Aragon, works by Brenda Fajardo, photos by Ringo Buonoan and MM Yu.

At Manila Contemporary, ink on paper by Brenda Fajardo, "Epiko ni Mangandiri (Maranao): Ang Usa Nga Bulawan"

Other standouts:  The Drawing Room, Silverlens/SLab, Galleria Duemila, Art Informal.  Art fair veterans, Silverlens/SLab and the The Drawing Room knew exactly how to highlight their stable of artists.  The Drawing Room went back to their roots and exhibited works on paper plus a reprised Alfredo  and Isabel Aquilizan.  I loved Jojo Legaspi’s dark, bleak pastel landscapes and Kawayan de Guia’s reworked letter from 1943.  At Silverlens, Rachel Rillo showed elegant photo

At The Drawing Room, an oil on paper piece by Troy Ignacio

transfers printed on Bhutanese handmade paper.  These pieces were a preview of sorts for her upcoming show.  Duemila brought out masterpieces from their treasure trove.  Among them, an old favorite, Julie Lluch’s Maranao (Nanampiling).  Art Informal borrowed newly- commissioned works by John SantosTatong Recheta Torres, and Joel Alonday and interspersed these with new pieces from Riel Hilario, Cos Zicarelli, and Pam Yan Santos.

At The Drawing Room, detail of paper scupture, Roderico Jose Daroy

West Gallery and Blanc selected their pieces well. Although perhaps they could have hanged more dramatically (painted walls?).  Blanc debuted a pair of  Louie Cordero’s works to mark the start of a series.  It will be exciting to see how Louie expands this new look.  I thought the Lao Lianben and Art Sanchez pieces were both very good too.   At West, a collage by Roberto Chabet, The Erection Of The Obelisk caught my eye.  Geraldine Javier sprung another surprise with her assemblage Happy Go Ducky (Happiness Is A Resting Ground). Exhibited at Finale, she ensconced a stuffed duckling acquired from a taxidermy shop in Paris amidst her embroidered flora.

At Silverlens/SLab, phototransfer on Bhutanese handmade paper by Rachel Rillo, "Bahay"

The art fair actually attracted one foreign gallery:  Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill from Austria, run by Rudolf Kratochwill, a former Manila resident.  Rudolf did not expect any sales from his participation.  Because his gallery carries Manuel Ocampo, he thought the fair would be a good venue to show Manuel’s works alongside that of Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch.  I’m not sure how many people

At The Drawing Room, reworked piece from a 1943 found letter, Kawayan De Guia

cared to stop by this booth.  But Nitsch’s recorded performance piece, with its ritual of poured blood and mock cruxifixion, would have given Manila audiences something to talk about.

MM Yu manned another busy booth— selling bags and pins and shirts to raise funds for Bastards of Misrepresentation:  Doing Time On Filipino Time.  This is an upcoming exhibit by a group of

Isa Lorenzo at the Silverlens booth

Filipino artists at the Freies Museum in Germany set for October this year.  Unfortunately, these opportunities do not get any government or institutional funding in the Philippines.  The artists need to fend for themselves. They priced their items very reasonably, most at the P2,500.00 range.  I would think that

At Silverlens/ SLab, oil on canvas by Leslie de Chavez, "The Substitution of Innocent Ramon"

money well-spent.

Overall, I thought that Manilart 10 felt like a huge bazaar of paintings, more paintings, and copies of paintings. Apparently, just as they do in Greenhills, the art superstars get knocked off too!  Going by the variations of naked torsos wrapped in plastic, Ronald Ventura must be a favorite.

Because the fair already attracts a huge crowd,  it would be great if the succeeding ones also become a venue to make artistic statements, to expose the audience to other visual art forms.  The galleries that organize the fair should use its success to push for more experimental pieces. I would think that the fair should spearhead elevating standards— not just extend the galleries’ backrooms. As the NCCA spends for this fair, shouldn’t the funds be made to work harder?  Think of what Cinemalaya has done for Filipino independent film makers.

Perhaps for the next one?

Manilart 10 runs from 29 July to 1 August 2010 at Hall 4,  SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.  For more information, visit

At Gallery Nine, Ceramic sculpture by Maria Magdamit

At Paseo Gallery, sculptor Michael Cacnio and his piece, "Baitang"

At West Gallery, oil and acrylic on canvas by Olan Ventura, "Consciously Unconscious"

At Nova Gallery, Romeo Lee with his drawing

At Gallery Nine, watercolor by Alfred Galura

Wilson Lee Flores and Annie Cabigting's oil on canvas auction piece, "After Yves Klein"

At Galleria Duemila, sculpture by Julie Lluch, "Maranao (Nanampiling)"

Another view of Julie Lluch's sculpture gazing at Zobel's Saeta

At Art Informal, oil on canvas portrait by Tatong Recheta Torres

At Art Informal, printed paper sculpture by Pam Yan Santos

At Galleria Duemila, photograph by Cesare Syjuco

Yeyey Cruz and Kawayan de Guia

Jay Amante, Nona Garcia, and MM Yu

At Blanc, Allan Balisi and his oil on canvas piece

At Blanc, oil and canvas and collage on mirror by Art Sanchez, "White Lies and Pretense"

At Blanc, oil on canvas piece by Lao Lianben, "Zen In My Head"

At Blanc, artists Neil Pasilan and Mark Andy Garcia

At Finale, oil on canvas with crocheted lace by Geraldine Javier, "Autumn Lace"

At Finale, assemblage by Geraldine Javier with a preserved duckling, embroidery, and preserved beetle, "Happy Go Ducky (Happiness Is A Resting Ground"

Monchet Lucas and Sevrine Miailhe

For auction, oil on canvas by Jose Tence Ruiz, "Apres Moi, Le Tsunami"

For auction, oil on canvas, Charlie Co, "Caroza Pulitika"

At Gallery Orange from Bacolod, Charlie Co with his assemblages

Dawn Lagdameo

Ed Cua and Baby Kramer

At Art Verite, Gabby Barredo kinetic sculpture

At Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, photo stills from Hermann Nitsch performance

Group of Manuel Ocampo paintings at Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill

At Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, printed fabric by Hermann Nitsch

John Silva stands before and Iggy Rodriguez drawing

At Blanc, acrylic on canvas pieces by Louie Cordero, "Red Dung" and "Blue Sausage"

The Macasaet Sisters--- Rina (aka Virginia, the artist), Tessa, and Vida

Oil on canvas by Virginia Macasaet, "Blue Moon"


6 Responses to Manilart 10

  1. Manilart 10 « Snippets from the Manila Art Scene…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. […] Trickie Lopa of Manila Art Blogger wrote in a really extensive and thorough entry about Manilart 10 sentiments which I mostly agree with: Overall, I thought that Manilart 10 felt like a huge bazaar […]

  3. this article is exactly what i’m looking for! I found your article bookmarked by a friend. I’ll also share it. thanks!

  4. lukdit says:

    agree with you it’s bazaar. but disagree that the next fair has hope of elevating art. ncca should desist support, public funds again victimized.

  5. Vida Macasaet says:

    Hi Trickie,

    What a nice blog! My first time to check it out and was presently surprised to see that you featured my sis, Virginia/Rina, from Manila Art 2010. Thank you so much!Could you send me your email so I can invite you for future upcoming events…Vida

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