I arrived at the conclusion that it works for me to go to events like this only once in a few years. The last one I visited was the 2016 run, and prior to that the last was in 2013, Art Fair Philippines’ launch year. I get easily overwhelmed and exhausted (hello tita me!).
This time, it also didn’t help that I was toting a bag filled with my pumping paraphernalia. The bag (photo of which is somewhere below, in my haggard solo shot) was light, but after a couple of hours of drifting from one booth to another, it felt like it got heavier about twice its weight. This momma just had to take a cookie break — grateful for the clusters of upholstered stools (were they there before?) and the well-edited selection of food concessionaires (which themselves invested in making their stalls look fabulous).
I was bracing myself for the crowd — the infamous type of crowd associated with these kinds of events — but I was delighted to have had a pleasant experience.
Also, I think it helps to just be tolerant of each other’s quirks. If some were there to primarily take massive amounts of photos, so be it. If some were there to actually buy because hey, they have money, so be it (and we probably have no right to sneer at their tastes and sourgrape, haha). The entire place is big enough to hold all of our different preferences, different definitions of art, and different reasons for being there.
Two things I enjoyed doing for the first time: (1) Watching and taking photos of strangers; (2) Punctuating the visit with a trip to the surprisingly lovely roof deck.
Thanks to my ABS friends and fellow Cultura-titas / Culturati-tas — our IG group name! I knoowww it’s so annoyingly pretentious but that’s exactly the point. Let’s not take things too seriously. 🙂
I’ll probably go back after two or three years, if it still exists. I hope to be able to bring my son there if he behaves.
Here are snaps of some of my favorites: Monica Delgado’s tactile paint “drippings”, Nikki Luna’s resin (?) sculptures of women’s underthings, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo’s wooden bibliotheque, MM Yu’s bottomless pit of ephemera (which I spent a considerably long time gawking at), random neon sign.