Art Philippines | Manila, Southeastern Asia’s new contemporary art hub
This year, Art Fair Philippines celebrates its 5th edition, which will welcome 46 galleries from the region and offer an engaging program of talks, including “Curating across Asia”, bringing together MACBA director Ferran Barenblit, writer Sarah Thornton and curator Diana Campbell Betancourt.
Manila, the fair’s host city, is fast becoming a hub for contemporary art. The Philippines capital owes this largely to its geographical location: as well as being close to Singapore, Manila is surrounded by the numerous arts programs and events that have popped up in the region in recent years, including the Dhaka Art Summit, the Colombo Biennale and the Lahore Biennale. This strategic position has made Manila a mecca for investors in art and property.
This month saw the opening of Bellas Artes Outpost’s inaugural exhibition — a show devoted to Mexican artist Carlos Amorales. Created in 2013 by collector and business woman Jam Acuzar, the non-profit institution Bellas Artes Projects opened its Manilla Outpost in 2016. Diana Campbell Betancourt, who has been director of the Dhaka Art Summit since 2013, is now also artistic director of Bellas Artes Outpost. The institution will host four exhibitions and will invite one artist-in-residence per year.
Through fairs, summits, biennials and more, Southeast Asia is making considerable efforts to show local artists, who were first given major exposure in 2016 when Vienna gallery Krinzinger Projekte presented "You cannot cross the sea merely by staring at the waves” — an exhibition curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt which showcased work by the new generation of Bangladeshi artists.
The 46 galleries participating in Art Fair Philippines 2017 are: 1335 Mabini, Altro Mondo Arté Contemporanea, Archivo 1984, ARNDT, Art Cube Gallery, Artinformal, ART LAB, Art Underground, Art Verite’, Artesan Gallery + Studio, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Art Gallery, CANVAS, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Finale Art File, Gajah Gallery, Galería Cayón, Galerie Anna, Galerie Michael Janssen, Galerie Stephanie, Galleria Duemila, Gallery Kogure, Gallery Orange, J Studio, Kaida Contemporary, Asian Cultural Council/Leon Gallery, MO_Space, Nunu Fine Art, Paseo Art Gallery, Pinto Art Gallery, ROH Projects, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, TAKSU, The Crucible Gallery, The Drawing Room, Tin-aw Gallery, Underground Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery, XuArtspace, Yavuz Gallery, Ysobel Art Gallery, and YOD Gallery.