The 3rd Mindanao Art Fair (MindanaoArt 2021), the biggest gathering of artists in the island, is slated on October 1-31, 2021 with a virtual opening program and by-appointment only viewing of its physical exhibit at the Poblacion Market Center in Davao City.
Spearheaded by Lawig Diwa Inc., MindanaoArt 2021 is made possible through a grant of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCCA-NCAG).
More than 300 artists from 35 galleries from various areas in Mindanao, including Agusan, Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro Davao, Davao de Oro, Digos, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Mati, North Cotabato, Panabo, Soccsksargen, Samal, Sto. Tomas, Tagum and Zamboanga are expected to participate in this year’s MindanaoArt.
Since face to face events are not allowed in Davao City due to the pandemic, MindanaoArt 2021 will be a combination of virtual and physical exhibition, with greater bulk of the activity happening online. Artworks will be displayed physically at the Poblacion Market Central (a new commercial complex in Davao, formerly the Madrazo Fruit Stand), and can be viewed at Mindanao Art’s website and facebook page (Mindanao Art). There will be a virtual opening ceremony on October 1, 2021 to officially start the exhibit.
A limited number of visitors are allowed per day at a 2-hour interval to view the artwork display at Poblacion Market Central during the month-long exhibit. Interested art collectors & enthusiasts, art teachers and students can obtain a Mindanao Art QR code and book their visit online at www.mindanaoart.org. Health and safety protocols will be strictly implemented at the exhibit.
This year’s theme is Art in Between: Mindanao Art in Liminal Space—a recognition of where we all are right now—in a space of ambiguity and disorientation. The theme’s narrative can be experienced right from the entrance of the exhibit at Davao City’s newest heritage-themed mall, Poblacion (the former Madrazo Fruit Stand) where you will see tree stump sculptures which symbolize how we have all been cut off from a lot of things that matter to us because of the pandemic. However, you will see that the tree stumps are sprouting again and have grown new branches, a representation of how we always manage to rise above the challenges that come our way.
Next to the tree stump sculptures, you will then enter a cocoon tunnel where you will experience the isolation and quiet, the liminal space before metamorphosis.
Coming out of the cocoon, you will be welcomed by a lighted butterfly. Butterflies have been regarded to symbolize life, endurance, change, and hope. MindanaoArt 2021 carries the butterfly as its icon, inviting the audience to reflect on how Covid 19 has isolated humanity the world over, the art sector included, and yet still see the beauty of what is now as against the uncertainty of tomorrow and the rigidity of the past.
One of the main features of the exhibit are two giant murals measuring 8 ft x 20 ft by Davao artist Jefferson “Jeff” Bangot. Installed at the entrance of the exhibit venue, the mural is Bangot’s interpretation of this year’s theme.
“The work is all about the past and present that made us who we are. The continuing struggle of society for dominance from political to cultural creates conflict, a spark, a tension creating a new being, a hybrid,” Bangot said of his twin murals.
From the foyer/lobby, you will then enter the two-storey exhibit area, or the liminal space as they interpret it, which displays the different artworks of the participating artists and their various interpretations of the theme.
One of the highlights of Mindanao Art Fair is the special exhibit of four featured artists: Ms. Tanya Lee, Elenita Dumlao, Jag Bueno and Lucas Ranola, entitled “4 Artists, 4 Mindanao.”
MindanaoArt is organized in partnership with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts-National Committee on Art Galleries and Poblacion Market Central with media partners Beta Studio, APM, Manila Bulletin, Sun.Star Davao, GMA, Art+ Magazine, The Philippine Star, Edge Davao, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN.
Text and photo courtesy of LAWIG-DIWA.