Art Fair Philippines works together with Visayas-wide biennale in celebrating the Philippines’ regional art scene
In the past, in order to thrive as an artist in the Philippines, one must brave Manila to break into the scene. As years passed, galleries and exhibitions sprouted in the different islands of the archipelago, aiming to put the spotlight on undiscovered talents hidden beyond the country’s capital. Among those that championed regional Filipino talents is VIVA ExCon, a Visayas-wide biennale that started in Bacolod City in 1990. This time, it will have a wider reach as Art Fair Philippines invited it to be one of its regional exhibitors alongside Ibagiw Art Fest x Gallery 2600 (Luzon), Langgikit x Museo De Oro x Art Portal Gallery (Mindanao), and Lawig-diwa x Gallery Down South (Mindanao).
“I think they find it interesting that we did VIVA ExCon during the pandemic,” the organization’s chairman, Charlie Go, tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “VIVA ExCon has been one of the longest-running biennales in the Philippines and in Asia. They want us to share what happen and how we navigated during the pandemic on a virtual platform. The pandemic was unprecedented, even we were challenged to do it. Despite the pandemic, our art here in Negros or VIVA didn’t waver.”
For three decades, VIVA ExCon Organization Inc. has toured the Visayan Islands, putting up art events in the islands of Negros, Cebu, Panay, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Guimaras, Siquijor, and Boracay to strengthen the visibility of the arts groups in the Visayan region. With its works, the organization has been recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and has become “the basis for local initiatives in the formation of the regional art festivals in Mindanao and Luzon.” Its biennale has taken a turn from physical to virtual in 2020 as it jumped to the digital world in order to keep its mission of empowering regional artists and creative practices going during the pandemic.
“All the galleries, everybody was challenged to do online. I think all of us were able to successfully achieve what we wanted despite the pandemic. It is challenging but it’s the 21st century,” Charlie says. “It is really important that we got to know the range of art activities outside of Manila. In this way, in this platform, they (Art Fair Philippines) are able to give a wider scope of what’s happening in the local art scene and not just us.”
Photo from VIVA ExCon website
VIVA ExCon, together with Negros’ Orange Project, will be bringing to the Art Fair Philippines 2022 its previous exhibition “Kalibutan: The World in Mind.” Taking place online, the exhibition is led by its head curator, Patrick D. Flores, with six other regional curators: Mars Briones, Guenivere Decena, Jay Nathan Jore, Liby Limoso, Nomar Miano, and Maria Taniguchi. According to VIVA ExCon director Mariano Montelibano III, the exhibition is about consciousness and the world we live in and is set to feature 18 art projects by Visayan artists and other Filipino creatives from abroad.
According to the exhibit notes, “the subsidiary title pertains to the state of being in the world, thinking through the world, and finally looking after it with care as well as with anxiety, affection, or even obsession. Mindfulness of the world acknowledges complicity in its production as well as the indeterminacy of its vastness.”
Art Fair Philippines 2022 is happening from March 23 to April 1. You can check out VIVA ExCon Dasun Bacolod x Orange Project exhibit here.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph