「旅行 Le Voyage」Visiting Art Spaces in Manila, Philippines

Manila is a big capital city, and there are four lines for Mass transportation. Here are the 3 Elevated Trains: No.1 – MRT 1 (from West Avenue, Quezon City to Rotunda, Pasay City ) No.2 – LRT 1 (from Monumento, Caloocan City to Baclaran, Paranaque City) No. 3 – LRT 2 (from Santolan, Marikina City to Recto, City of Manila ) and then another one is the old PNR route. Hence, I only can visit one/two places one day. It took me three weeks to visit art events and art spaces!!

There was a Saturday Market at Escolta last March 9, the venue is really AWESOME! They collaborate with local people at an abandoned department store which was built during Spanish time.

Saturday Market at the abandoned building in Escota, hosted by 98B
Saturday Market at the abandoned building in Escolta, hosted by 98B

In this plaza, there are four or five art spaces for subcuture exhibitions, street artists, tattoo artists, graffiti artists and underground bands are showing here!!

Catalina's brother, Dean Zuberi Africa has exhibition at Block Market
Catalina’s brother, Dean Zuberi Africa has exhibition at Block Market

Art in the park is an affordable art fair in manila, they held on the park surrounded by business buildings. Not only galleries but artist studios, art schools, and everyone are inviting to join the events. You can collect artworks with nice price, and have chances to talk with artists in person!!

Art in the park

Art in the park, artist  Marcushiro, and live drawing
Art in the park, artist
Marcushiro, and live drawing
Art in the park 03
Art in the park 03

Manila Contemporary is one of the important galleries in Manila, and represents many great international artists!! It situated comfortably inside Pasong Tamo’s Whitespace building, has been in operation since 2008. Its large, high-ceiling space, has played home to a large and impressive roster of artists from the Philippines and the greater Southeast Asia.

Manila Contemporary, artist Jeona, Valentines Willie, and me
Manila Contemporary, artist Jeona, Valentine Willie, and me

With great and suitable place, Finale Gallery also does appraisal and documentation for big corporations and private collectors, seasonal auctions and package artist talks and forums. Finale has also published several art books and catalogs.

Finale Gallery
Finale Gallery

Artinformal where I enjoy the exhibition a lot. I was surprised by the delicate artworks. From Zeus Bascon’s works, there are at least two hand-made layers on the each artwork. He is talking about the belief, the superstition inside the artist’s mind. What kind of belief exist in philippine artist’s life? How do they find themselves, and Why do they need it?

Artinformal, works by Zeus Bascon and Marcushiro
Artinformal, works by Zeus Bascon and Marcushiro

Silverlens Galleries have two spaces, SLab (Silverlens Lab) and the 20SQUARE project space— to host the rest of the contemporary arts. Bridge-linked to Silverlens, SLab and 20SQUARE show painting, drawing, sculpture and design. SLab is for larger curatorial exhibitions and solo shows, while 20SQUARE, the smaller eponymous space has become a favorite exhibition venue for the intimacy it creates for the artwork.

Silverlens Galleries
Silverlens Galleries

Mo_Space was a response to the shifting climate of alternative art spaces in Manila at that time. Non-profit and artist-run, it intended for an extended life span and higher visibility of the young conceptual practices of artists, which was then difficult to position in a market-driven climate. This is a contemporary photography exhibition curated by Roberto Chabet. Artist Catalina Africa is also participating in this exhibition.

MO_Space
Mo_Space

YSOBEL and Verite Gallery are next to each other located in the same area with Mo_Space.

YSOBEL and Verite Gallery
YSOBEL and Verite Gallery

Art Cube is located in the Shopping Mall. Artist Mark Andy Garcia’s paintings in this show constitute an album of memories and keepsakes of experiences in his own life.

Art Cube
Art Cube

Light and Space focus on the representation of young and contemporary artists whose diverse practices include painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and photography. They have three galleries for different proposes, and invited artists can use the studio for one month before the exhibition opening.

Light & Space
Light & Space
Gallery2 and Gallery3 at Light & Space
Gallery2 and Gallery3 at Light & Space
Studio at Light & Space
Studio at Light & Space

Well, it’s brief introduction of the art spaces i have been there. However Philippines has long history from colonization until now. And when i was traveling in Baguio, the contemporary art scene is totally different with what we see normally. Indigenous people are nature-borned artists who are indeed worthy respecting. 🙂

Many thanks to Catalina Africa and her family, Dex Fernandez, Kat Medina, Kawayan, Mannet Villariba, Tengal Nolasnem, and everyone in Philippines.  

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