Art Fair Philippines 2016: An Experience


The Taksu gallery quickly got my attention. Specifically, this piece which used plastic Lego blocks and broken glass bottles. It just changes the whole perspective of the gallery space.

Taksu gallery exhibited artworks by:

  • Juan Alcazaren
  • Norberto Roldan
  • Michelle Perez
  • Poch Naval
  • Gino Bueza
  • Lara de los Reyes
  • Pete Jimenez
  • Raena Abella
  • Alvin Villaruel
  • Beejay Esber
  • Vic Balanon
  • Atsuko Yamagata

The gallery exhibited paintings as well as steel and ceramic sculptures. These pieces utilized a combination of glass, plastic blocks, electric lights, oil, acrylic, canvas, foam, ambrotype collodian positive, hologram, lenticular, indian ink, correction fluid, glue, and handmade pita paper.

There were 23 art pieces in the Taksu gallery.

The Taksu gallery showcased very urban and edgy forms or art. The overall vibe of the gallery was very hip and very vibrant. From colorful Lego blocks, to a striking image of the gorgeous Kate Moss, a heart made of steel, ceramic skulls depicting drugs and other edgy materials, they gave the audience a vibe that was light and playful. I think they were simply trying to portray the everyday superficial things and happenings in our lives. Their artworks were depictions of everyday things that were transformed to become unique and edgy while still maintaining an image that was easily grasped by the people. In tagalog, I would say that their artworks were “madaling sakyan”. This was very interesting for me since I am not a fan of artworks that are to deep and too dark to the point of confusing myself. The taksu gallery just had a fun and easy vibe.

Martha Atienza

Martha Atienza had just one art piece. A large screen showing an HD video of Fair Isle. The massive and bright screen is very hard to miss when you walk around the room. It instantly caught my attention because of its scenic image it was something phenomenal because it is something we don’t see very often. The art fair showcased mostly paintings and sculptures and I think this was the only one of its kind in the art fair. I couldn’t help but think how the artist captured this video. Was she in a helicopter? Did she use a drone? Or was she on the edge of the island in Fair Isle? It got me thinking and I think that’s what made it a very engaging experience.

The video seems to depict the vast ocean in its calm state. The motion of the water is very soothing for me. I can imagine having that exact screen in my home and staring at it for a whole day. The huge screen gave me a sense of almost being right there at the very moment. There was no audio but I actually think it wasn’t needed at all. I think the silence actually made me focus more on the beautiful image and feel the experience. It was as if I was being devoured by the vast ocean.

I definitely learned a lot from this experience. I have come to appreciate art much more than ever. The only thing that confused me up to this day was how the artist captured the video, it left me very curious.

Mark Justiniani

I really did not know what to expect while I was lined up to see Mark Justiniani’s gallery. To be honest, I initially just chose this gallery because it was beside Martha Atienza’s space and i was curious because people were lining up for it. But I really had no idea who he was and what his works were like. When I entered, I was instantly engaged because it was a dark room. Walking around the well lighted art fair, it was very intetesting to see a dark room. I was very intrigued right away. When I saw the artworks, I was in awe. Mark Justiniani showcased 3D models or should i say installation artworks that really brought the room into a different dimension. The detail and craftsmanship of each artwork was really beautiful. Moreover, his works all had a similar style. It all depicted an infinite distance that was achieved through the use of mirrors. His art form is something i have never seen before.

The first artwork that I saw was “Temple”, with the use of LED lights and mirrors, it had the effect of walking inside a long hall of the temple and into its dark side. At first, I honestly didn’t realize that it was an illusion made by the mirror effect. I thought it was really a long 3D model. I only realized that it was an illusion when I moved past it and saw that it was only about one foot wide on the sides and there was another art piece at the back right next to it. I was very amazed when i realized this. I felt like a child being amazed in a magic show. The art pieces looked very real to me. In fact, if you take a look at the pictures, one can actually think that it was taken inside a real temple. It was amazing! The best piece for me was “Alegoria”. It was a life-sized tunnel that was created with the same style. It was a 3D model as well and also used LED lights and similar materials. Again, it looked so real. And if you had no idea that it was a mirror illusion, you would actually think that you were in a real tunnel. Personally, Mark Justiniani’s gallery is the highlight of the art fair. It was truly phenomenal and I haven’t seen anything like it before.

I left the gallery feeling so amazed by the artist’s genius idea. I left with so much more learning and knowledge about art, specifically, the art form utilized by the artist. I was so amazed to the point that I was confused at how some people could possess that kind of brilliance and imagination to create something truly amazing while I, a mere mortal, can’t even draw a proper stick figure. Talk about injustice.

The art fair was a very insightful experience. The overall vibe of the place, all the artworks and the crowd was something one would really enjoy. First thing that I noticed was the crowd, it was very hip and “artsy fartsy” as they say. Just by all the fashion around the area, you can already say that you’re surrounded by the Philippines’ art society. Second thing I noticed was all the socialites. It’s easy to spot the elites in the crowd from the commoners such as myself. I could just imagine them pointing at artworks and asking their yayas to carry their newly bought artworks to the car. Seriousy speaking though, it was a very exciting event with lots of interesting people as well. It was too bad that I went on a sunday night and I had a family dinner afterwards because it turned out that there was wine and beer available inside the venue. There was even a “Finders Keepers” bar at the Don Papa booth. That made the event all the more exciting and interesting. It was like a “socialite meets hipsters meets eccentric artists meets posers” party. I am not really a major art person but I can see why a lot of people are getting into it nowadays. I can honestly say that I will be back next time.