Three Spellbinding Exhibits from Art in the Park 2019
Picking up right where it left off last year, the most awaited affordable art fair in the metro, Art in the Park, made its return to Makati last weekend.
A yearly tradition for dedicated collectors and art aficionados alike, Art in the Park has nurtured the Filipino’s love for craft, culture and visual intricacies for 13 consecutive years and counting. This year was no exception with the fair bringing together a total of 56 galleries, collectives and student groups with the goal of championing local talent and yes, sparking joy, through an impressive spectrum of affordable art pieces––all capped off at a maximum price of P50,000.
Punctuating the show-stopping displays at Art in the Park were the works of four artists hand-picked by the organizers of the event: Yeo Kaa, Leeroy New, Oscar Mejia, and Zean Cabangis.
At barely 30 years of age, Palawan-born artist Yeo Kaa has set off many a ripple in the local art scene. Her art has become a mainstay at local fairs, cartoon-like figures and striking color palette easily recognizable in a roomful of framed works and installations. Despite the typically ebullient color story she gravitates towards, Yeo Kaa’s work is a portal to the innermost depths of the human condition. Laced into the brights and pastels of her pieces are raw emotions. Insecurities. Wants. Truths.
A regular exhibitor at Art in the Park a few years back, she returned this year with a special display of her own. Far more than just an Instagram-worthy backdrop, she reprised her inflatable piece entitled Alone But Not Lonely. Last seen at the Yavuz Gallery in Singapore, it’s a supersized reminder to enjoy find joy in our own company. Also seen at Art in the Park were Yeo Kaa’s sculptures from her previous exhibition, Wud ya do it?.
With experience in sculpture, production design and fashion, it’s always exciting thinking about what artist Leeroy New will come up with next. In 2014, he kick-started his renowned Aliens of Manila project. Imagine makeshift aliens crafted out of mundane items, captured in their candid moments, each with their own stories to tell. Reminiscent of Humans of New York and the photography styles of Tommy Ton and Bill Cunningham, Aliens of Manila was a delightfully tongue-in-cheek project that won people over.
Over at Art in the Park, this project took on a tangible form. Bridging the gap between mankind and his highlighter-hued extraterrestrial creatures, his installation made use of tubes, funnels, and the iconic multicolored plastic baskets his aliens are usually made out of.
Painter and photographer Zean Cabangis also lent his unique vision to the event's postcards. Featuring one of his archival photos, Cabangis then painted over the visual, bringing together his two disciplines in a single work of art.
An occasion with a philanthropic edge, Art in the Park was a fundraising event as much as it was a weekend escape. While the fair was a hotspot for buying beautiful pieces for affordable prices and futher nurtured the Pinoy’s love for the arts, it ultimately drove a larger, more meaningful purpose. A portion of all sales made at Art in the Park were donated to the Museum Foundation of the Philippines to support the projects and programs of the National Museum of the Philippines.
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