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Hits and misses at Manila Art 2010

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AFTER LAST year, it was difficult not to look forward to Manila Art 2010. Last year meant drinks and music, camaraderie, a certain high for having such a huge event for Philippine art.

This year, while the art was there in fantastic display, there seemed to have a distance between art and people. Maybe there just wasn’t a lot of rock ‘n’ roll.

The fair was held at the SMX Convention Center of the SM Mall of Asia and opened with an ultra-formal red-carpet affair. But the food ran out quickly and something went wrong with the sound system.

But Manila Art 2010 was an infinitely bigger showcase than last year’s. There were plenty of sculptures and installations, and less familiar names were exhibited along with established names.

Art Informal had Pancho Villanueva’s paintings, Riel Jaramillo Hilario’s sculpture and Pamela Yan-Santos’ installation, “Pipe Line.”

1/of Gallery had one Juan Sajid Imao sculpture and paintings by Jomike Tejido and Anton Balao.

Joe Datuin’s “Cosmic Rings” and Piyapong Wantanalert’s “Arowana” sculptures were the centerpieces of the Quattrocento booth, which outshone the paintings in the space.

Ditto with Art Verite’s booth, which exhibited Gabriel Barredo’s mixed-media sculptures “Tree of Life” and “Prosperity” 1.

Solo exhibitor Gino Tioseco, though, took the cake as far as exhibiting newness was concerned. Working full time as an artist and not represented by a gallery, Tioseco had his own booth exhibiting his latest works, all self-portraits.

The possibility that this would be boring or repetitive was disrupted by difference: Each portrait was rendered in a different color, in various versions of fading into the background, each portrait a seeming slow, easy and expected loss of the face.



 

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