Art festival showcases masters and emerging artists


ART magazine and publishing house Art+ will organize the first Modern and Contemporary Art Festival or MoCAF to highlight what artists have been working on during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and to get the art scene back in tune with seeing works in person, up close and to interact with each other.

From July 29-31 at the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City, MoCAF will showcase both “revered masters and up-and-coming artists who reflect the burgeoning modern and contemporary art scene in the Philippines”, a press release noted.

At a June 22 press conference at Raffles Makati, organizers added that the art festival’s mission is “to provide a platform for artists, galleries, art institutions and to create an inclusive and exciting opportunity among growing industry sectors.

Solo artist presentations and group exhibitions were curated by Ricky Francisco, director of Fundacion Sansó.

“The conscious decision to be more inclusive was there,” Mr. Francisco said. Business world shortly after the program. “We wanted to…include areas of art that often don’t get a chance.”

The festival’s inaugural edition will feature artists who have “a good working relationship” with the magazine and galleries who may not be considered mainstream, said Art+ editor and chief operating officer of MoCAF Jewel Chuaunsu.

The art festival will complement the works of national artists with those of young artists with less than three years of practice.

The event will feature 122 Filipino artists from across the country, local and international galleries, special exhibitions and art talks.

Local galleries include Ysobel Art Gallery, Village Art Gallery, DF Art Agency, Leon Gallery, Secret Fresh and Qube Gallery.

International galleries include YOD Gallery, which will feature pop art by Japanese artists, and Japan’s Gallery Kogure.

Filipino artists Ramon Orlina, Michael Cacnio, Anton Del Castilo, Robert Alejandro and national artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz are among the festival’s special exhibitions. The section will also include rare works by Juvenal Sansó.

During this time, Elmer Borlongan, Angela Silva, Maya Muñoz and Henrielle Pagkaliwangan will animate an exhibition on contemporary printing.

The festival features Art+Discoveries, which showcases young and emerging artists, and MoCAF Dialogues, a series of talks that includes topics such as “The Economic Outlook and its Impact in the Art World”, as well as “The World of art today and the luxury market”.

Jose Mari “Jomari” Cariño, Director General of the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and Gus Vibal, Executive Director of the Vibal Foundation, will hold a conference entitled “The Future of Publishing art”, while Julius Babao will participate in a conference entitled “Collecting Art: Perspective of Collectors”.

Those interested in learning more about the place of Filipino art on the world stage can participate in “Curators Speak: Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale” with co-curators Arvin Flores and Yael Buencamino-Borromeo.

In line with MoCAF’s aims to provide new artistic and cultural experiences beyond the norm, MAGIS Creative Space will host a conference and art therapy workshop with Robert Alejandro.

The art festival also includes a partnership with global information and communications technology provider Huawei. Artists Jea Gaviña and Margaux Janelle will be awarded as Huawei Digital Artists for 2022. They will each create their respective digital works using the latest Huawei MatePad 10.4. This year’s theme is “Digital Technology and Art in the 21st Century.”

Fairmont Makati was chosen with accessibility and comfort in mind.

“We wanted a place in Makati that was easy to get to and maybe more shoppers would be closer to that area. We definitely wanted to put him in a hotel so he would be in a different setting,” Ms Chuaunsu said.

The Fairmont Makati Grand Ballroom offers 859 square meters of space. There will be 24 booths in the main hall of the Grand Ballroom, seven booths in the foyer, a designated area for discussions and a lounge.

“We deliberately decided to have highlights on either side of the main gallery. But at the front where the special exhibits are, our goal is to provide a relaxing experience,” Mr. Francisco said.

The cabins are square in shape with ample walking space.

“Hopefully if this one is successful we will open it up to more galleries and more bands in the future, [and a] bigger room,” Mr. Francisco said.

MoCAF is sponsored by Aurelia Residences, Huawei, Chinese Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Fairmont Makati, Smart Infinity, Vibal Group, Inc. and Xception.

MoCAF will take place July 29-31, 2022 at the Grand Ballroom at Fairmont Makati. For more information and to register tickets, visit Tickets are at P250. Visit on Facebook and @mocafmanila on Instagram. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman


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