A lot of industries were affected by the onset of the COVID-19 health crisis in the Philippines – and that’s a fact we all know first-hand. 

One of the sectors severely affected by the pandemic restrictions and numerous lockdowns in the country is the art world. Multiple shows had to be canceled and galleries had to be shut down last year after the virus took root. 

Although it managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic in 2020, Art Fair Philippines – in solidarity with efforts to curb the recent surge of COVID-19 infections in the country – will host its annual art exhibit online.

Metaverse – as Art Fair PH calls their 2021 showcase – will be held on May 6 to 15 digitally in its entirety and will be free of charge. 

This year’s focus will be on digital contemporary art and its ‘collective shared space’ and ‘alternate reality.’

Digital Art

True to its theme for 2021, Art Fair PH will feature an array of digital artworks in partnership with Globe Platinum and Daata. Viewers will be able to stream and download high-quality art pieces in this new section. 

Artists to be featured in this category include Jeremy Couillard and Petra Cortright, and Keiken – a collaborative practice co-founded by artists Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori, and Isabel Ramos.

Photo from Daata

Art and Cryptocurrency

Back in March, the world of art and cryptocurrency finally collided with the sale of digital artist Mike Winkelmann’s (aka Beeple) “Everydays – The First 5000 Days,” which came in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT). His artwork broke records after being sold at a whopping $69 million

Seeing this as the turning of a new chapter for art, Art Fair PH found it necessary to introduce the concept to its Philippine audience through the NFT 101 exhibit. The showcase will be presented by the Bank of the Philippine Islands in collaboration with Tropical Futures Institute and Narra Art Gallery – giving viewers an in-depth understanding of how the art and crypto industry works together.

Photo from Art Fair Philippines’ Official Facebook Page

Digitized Galleries

For this year, the fair will give audiences access to 43 exhibits – local and international. Each will come with its own dedicated online viewing room partnered with an inside-the-gallery video produced with help from Globe Studios. 

ArtFairPH/Photo

This 2021, the fair has arranged a special feature for its photo gallery section. Paris-based Filipino photographer Ding Panganiban will spill the secrets to his ambrotype collodion photography process for the annual fair. 

The section will be co-presented by Swiss private bank Julius Baer. 

Photo from Ding Panganiban’s Official Website

Understanding Art

As part of its mission to expand understanding of contemporary art, Art Fair PH will host daily forums in cooperation with the Ateneo Art Gallery, Museum Foundation of the Philippines, and the international publication, Art Review.

It will also hold its Open Studios initiative, which it launched last year. It’s a series of workshops that will give viewers hands-on experience when it comes to the process of art-making.

Apart from those mentioned, there’s a lot more in store for audiences in 2021’s iteration of Art Fair Philippines. Those interested in this year’s showcase can pre-register online through their official website. 

Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Fashion & Arts News Section for the latest updates.

Image credit: Daata; Art Fair Philippines’ Official Facebook Page; Ding Panganiban’s Official Website