Now on its 14th year, the National Art Fair continues its onward and upward momentum with the theme, “Forging Futures” this October 19-23 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Taguig. Past years have focused on Visions for a Future Reimagined (2020) and Continuing Legacies (2021)- giving novel approaches a space in well-established traditions.
Arts and culture evolve with the times. Participating in the creation of our cultural landscape, the here and now contribute to chronicling Philippine art history-in-the-making. In 2021, we saw a first look at new technologies alongside traditional media: the art fair was made accessible for online patrols through 360-degree digital walkthroughs, and Augmented-Reality copies of artworks were presented alongside original physical pieces through a first-ever “phygital” showcase.
The debut of the phygital on ManilART’s stage bridges the gap between digital and traditional spaces. Digital artworks are minted as Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) which are valued as extensions or digital prints of the physical piece. Ownership of these NFTs is tied to the blockchain in the form of a crypto work that enables itself to be valued and traded in virtual art galleries and crypto markets.
Learn about blockchain with Binance.
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency platform, is set to hold educational talks during the art fair—opening the floor, expanding digital literacy not just to those with experience. Hearing insights straight from them will benefit both newbies and veterans alike. In particular, learning more about NFTs opens up a new realm of creation, trading, and supporting artistic works.
Read the room with Vrady’s Joy United.
We can expect this year’s iteration of ManilART to have more interactive surprises and booths in store. This year spotlights Joy United, an art installation by German media artist duo Juliana and Andrey Vrady that will explore and reflect the moods of fairgoers in real-time. They create artworks that show the dialogue between people and technology. How technology perceives human beings and how through the lens of the artists’ computational code we might look as art. Machine sensors will “read” guests’ emotions, run them through the artists’ software codes, and AI will generate an artwork based on the collective’s feelings—interpreted as vibrant lights and color.
ManilART maintains the future as its focus these next few years. Artists and audiences are discovering new techniques, setting trends through advancements in the digital age. Progressively younger audiences have the means to see art in the online sphere, which has arguably democratized its consumption through online exhibit walk-throughs and social media. Art practitioners and enthusiasts of all ages are invited to forge onward towards the future of ManilART, and trailblaze new paths in Philippine art at large.
This year’s participating exhibitors are 371 Art Space, AC 388, Annual Sculpture Review, Art For Space, Artes Orientes, AT Art Gallery, Dry Brush, Espacio Manila, Galerie Artes, Galerie Du Soleil, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Raphael, Galleria Nicolas, G9 Online, Gallery Nine, Historia Arts, M Gallery MNL, Museo de Pacis, Philippine Art Nation, Pugad ni Art, Renaissance Gallery, The Artologist, Village Art Gallery, and Ysobel Art Gallery.
Words and images courtesy of ManilArt.