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Nolisoli Picks: Most buzzworthy works at Art Fair 2020

Nolisoli Picks: Most buzzworthy works at Art Fair 2020


It’s Art Fair season again! Time to view art and be like flies on the wall, catching the best quotes from the fairgoers [READ: Overheard at Art Fair 2020: “I want to either go home or get drunk here.”]. It’s practically the local art industry’s flagship event, with the Philippine art scene concentrated into five floors of The Link carpark for four days. 

Here are the most eye-catching and buzz-worthy works we saw at the trade show.

Jellyfish Kisses’ Sewing Club

Jellyfish Kisses is queer artist Anton Belardo’s manic, candy-colored alter ego. Their interactive Sewing Club exhibit is a safe space where people can sew scraps of fabric or lounge with them on a pillow fort surrounded by plush figures. 

Kristoffer Ardeña’s Basahan

Dumaguete-born Kristoffer Ardeña is having a solo exhibit at Tropical Future’s station. Using old shirts and retaso rugs, Ardeña investigates materiality and modes of production, taking a special look at the basahan.

Sol Lewitt

The late Sol Lewitt’s estate loaned out two works for Art Fair. One of them, “Wall Drawing #1217,” borders the entrance of each of the exhibit floors. The purely text-based work says, “These words are written on the wall,” and each floor has a form written in a different language: English, Filipino, Maranao and Baybayin.


As we mentioned previously, one of most exciting newcomers to Art Fair are Visayan collectives. One of these is Giatay, a group exhibit by an all-Bisaya team of artists curated by Kaloy Olivades, Jun Sabayton and Jan Sunday. Giatay, if you didn’t know, is an expletive used much in the same way Tagalog people use “putangina,” that literally translates to “to be livered.” 

Gabriel Barredo’s Opera – Screaming Faces

Silverlens is exhibiting the late Gabriel Barredo’s yellow resin work, “Opera-Screaming Faces.” Barredo, who passed away last month, was known for his kinetic sculptures, and “Opera” features a multitude of faces endlessly screaming. A mood. 

Istorya conTEXT: Amon Ni

Istorya is presented by Orange Project, a Negros-based art gallery. Its title translating to “Story context: This is ours,” the group exhibit is a “visual anthology” by six women Negrense artists, with each piece offering commentary on their community and what it means to be an Illongo woman. Check out Karina Broce Gonzaga’s “Kabalaslan Series,” which show multicolored resin pots and signposts saying, “Selfless Service,” “Libre Utang,” and “Come in Where Open,” a depiction of the selfless work the women owners of carinderias put into feeding their community—even those who are unable to pay.


Tin-aw Art Gallery is holding a group exhibition with Julie Lluch, Faye Abantao, Leo Abaya, Leeroy New among others, on sex. “We asked 15 artists featured in the Tin-aw show to add to the phrase “Sex is…” Some answers were coy, some profound, all were interesting.” Notable pieces include Ambie Abano’s vulva-shaped wooden wall clock framed with copper nails. 

Taiyo Kimura’s “untitled (stool for guard)”

They might look like tired fairgoers at first glance, but these are human-like sculptures by Japanese conceptual artist Taiyo Kimura. As the name suggests, these are actually works intended to be sat on, though do ask permission from the gallery exhibitors first.  

Works by Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan

Living Things artists from our December 2019 Southern Living issue Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan are being presented by Singaporean Yavuz Gallery. The works shown include their signature cardboard houses and boats, as well as wings made out of scythes. 


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Read more:

Overheard at Art Fair 2020: “I want to either go home or get drunk here.”

Art Fair 2020’s most exciting newcomers aren’t foreign galleries but Visayas-based art collectives

18 restaurants to dine in if you’re attending Art Fair Philippines 2020

PHOTOGRAPHY SAMANTHA ONG © 2020. Hinge Inquirer Publications, Inc.