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Instead of sneakers, buy art: Art Fair 2019 pieces for the young art collector

The 2019 edition of Art Fair Philippines has officially begun. The fair, which occupies three floors of The Link in Makati, is a treat to both art enthusiasts and the curious ones. There are works by masters Francisco Botero, Mauro Malang Santos, Jose Joya, Fernando Zobel, and David Medalla. Then, on other walls, you’ll find Yayoi Kusama and other Asian contemporary art. It’s a grand showcase of both Philippine and international art. And this is the perfect opportunity not just to hone your taste in art but also to start your collection.

Also read:  Young, broke, and ambitious: How to start your art collection in your 20s

If you’re in your 20s, maybe it’s not yet practical to get your eyes glued on a Botero or a Joya or a Neal Oshima. As a young art enthusiast and collector, it’s also better to start your collection with works by young artists. Aside from the fact that they are more accessible, their works may also fit your budget. Here’s a list of artworks you can purchase from this year’s Art Fair. These works cost as much as a brand new pair of sneakers or less—you can even purchase two to three works with a P15,000 budget.

In Between the View and You, Nicole Tee, Silverlens

Nicole Tee’s In Between the View and You 1 (2019)

In Between the View and You by artist Nicole Tee is a series of photographs taken with Instax. The subject of these images are heavenly views like clouds catching the orange tint of the rising or setting sun. Overlaid with stained plexiglass, Nicole’s works are reminiscent of looking out a window to marvel at the celestial beauty around us—something we rarely do today in the concrete jungle, especially amid the ubiquity of a digital window: the smartphone.

Mixed media works by Anjo Bolarda, Vinyl on Vinyl


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In his mixed media work for the Art Fair, Anjo Bolarda takes various curios from the past and pastes them together into a collage. His works are an assemblage of vintage black and white photographs, weathered envelopes, and letters written in cursive. Although there are signs of deterioration in these objects, the artist surrounds them with vibrant colors as if to say that these melange of tangible memories are still vivid after all these years.

Tiles by Yeo Kaa, Secret Fresh

The longest line at Art Fair, at least when I visited, was for Yeo Kaa’s exhibit under Secret Fresh. Titled I Don’t Know, Baby, Yeo Kaa creates a bathroom lit with neon lights. The centerpiece is a bathtub with a huge sculpture of the wide-eyed girl, an ever-present character in her works. The room is adorned with tiles all featuring a portrait of the girl. This space is an ode to our own personal bathrooms, the space where we contemplate while doing the most mundane things.

Acrylic on woodcut by Tyang Karyel, Vinyl on Vinyl

As we keep mentioning, art isn’t just limited to paintings on canvas. Art can be anything. For this year’s Art Fair, Vinyl on Vinyl exhibits woodwork by Tyang Karyel. Here, the artist acknowledges that life is a ruthless game—often even turning into a war. In response, she forges “weapons” out of wood and covers them in eye-catching colors. It’s a playful rendition of cold, hard weapons, but these works also send out the message that art is a powerful tool to win the game of life.

Prints, Luzviminda

An archival inkjet print of Alex Baluyut’s Badjao village, Jolo, Sulu, Mindanao (1994)

Luzviminda is a gallery dedicated to Philippine photography, and their space at this year’s Art Fair stays true to that. Here, you can view prints depicting daily life in the Philippines and snapshots of Philippine history. You can also purchase prints of different sizes. The photograph above is an image from a Badjao village in Jolo, Sulu taken in 1994 by Alex Baluyut.

Resin figures, Secret Fresh

After you visit Yeo Kaa’s exhibit, you can head over to the space beside it where Secret Fresh exhibits Clusterf*ck by Christian Tamondong. Then, drop by their Ice Cream Shoppe. Now, the booth looks like an ice cream shop from an amusement park, but don’t expect the staff manning it to hand over a frozen treat. Secret Fresh’s Ice Cream Shoppe is the space where you can purchase resign figures by 12 artists including Romeo Lee, Charlie Co, Johanna Helmuth, among other. Now, these are totally better than ice cream.

Art Fair brings together various galleries in one massive space. This only happens once a year. On that note, don’t be afraid to approach the gallery staff if there’s a certain artwork that speaks to you. Always, always buy the works you like.

For more information on the fair, take a look at this guide by

Header image from Yeo Kaa’s Instagram


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