Art Fair PH 2017 // 1: Of Brands and Benches

And now I’m back! I’m halting Monday Momentum for a while, since I got a lot of interesting stuff in store. My near brush with death had such an impact that left me realizing how every f—ing second of life counts. A thought loomed in my mind: I am a creator. My life is meant for creating each day. And if I let it pass without making something, it’s a tragedy.

I’ve taken a leave from work.  And while I am free, I took this time to recharge and think of my goals for the latter part of the year. Anyway, enough of the drama!

Last February, the fourth Art Fair Philippines happened again. I went there for 2 days this time, just to make up for the time that I missed attending Graphika Manila. My 2017 creativity needed quenching. So I went on the 16th alone, and 17th with two friends, Arrah and Kari. (Abbi, we want you to go with us next time!)

From Dela Rosa to Landmark

Art Fair PH was held in The Link Carpark, mainly. But it doesn’t just end there. The fair took 10 days, from February 9 to 19, both around Makati City and Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Hence, they called it 10 Days of Art Live. But I mostly spent my experience in Makati.

The art in Makati extended all the way to the Dela Rosa Carpark walkway. It started out at the end of the walkway in Salcedo Street, with the Humans of Makati photo exhibit by Xyza Cruz Bacani. I didn’t get to take pics of it though, sadly. But everyday, I pass by it and get to know the subjects in the photos through the quotes.

There also was a live performance in the walkway. Haven’t caught the actual numbers, but I saw them setting up.

The walkway got more colorful by the evening with the cyan, magenta, blue, green, and purple lights.

Light art marked the Greenbelt-Landmark bridge.  This is Derek Tumala‘s Why The Universe Seems So Strange that is  fascinating both commuters and Art Fair PH attendees.

The Entrance

Oh yeah. Even the first night of Art Fair PH is very crowded. Both elevator and ticket queues were very long. I regretted wearing thermals because the elevator line was pretty hot.

Luckily, I took a photo with a rather short line.

The Bench Mark: Bench/ Presents

“Stars represent ideals and achievements. They are symbolic of people of prestige, power, and achievement, the ones we look up to like the way we gaze up in the night sky and appreciate bright but distant specks in wonders and achievement. This signification is embodied by a composite image of anthropomorphic star shapes, lights, and facets, at once confusing and enchanting.”

That is the very quote right next to the star in the Bench booth. The different lights in it change the color every time. And that quote perfectly represented Bench’s branding and philosophy.

Bench/ has always been a co-presenter in Art Fair PH since it began in 2013. It is one of the, if not the most, known Filipino fashion brands for 30 years. Their star-studded roster of endorsers is what makes them stand out. Also, they produce affordable quality clothing for the Filipino, by the Filipino.

I didn’t know Bench designed the Cebu Pacific uniform until that day. Oh well, the more you know.

Don Papa Rum

First of all, Don Papa Rum is a proud work of Filipino art.

It’s a “premium rum distilled in the foothill of Mt. Kanlaon, Negros, Philippines”. One of the small heroes of local history, Dionisio “Papa Isio” Magbuelas, inspired the creation of this rum. He helped free Negros from the Spaniards.

I truly appreciate branding that still has high respect to illustration. Today, brands mostly rely on fast “design”. But brands that still use finely detailed drawings are still a big thing in my book. It’s not an easy thing to do. The artist must always get huge credit for such hard work of blending business and art in one.

Fruit of Thy Labor by Janos Dela Cruz. Oil on canvas.
Don Pop Ah: The Luscious Life of Poppah by Froilan Pastrana Jr. Acrylic

Volkswagen Philippines // Arkiv Vilmansa

Arkiv Almansa‘s interest in architecture, animation, and religion all go hand in hand here. Prophet Muhammad SAW’s pilgrimage inspired Almansa’s work, Luminuous Landscape. The Indonesian-born and raised Almansa has a degree in architecture. And that is as seen in the sleek design of this beauty of a Volkswagen Beetle.

This year, I went for two days. So I took a lot of photos, and I can’t mash them all in one entry. Stay tuned for more Art Fair entries! Also share your Art Fair PH experience below the comments! Did you enjoy?

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