With a total of 51 galleries at Art Fair Philippines 2018, it can be quite challenging to navigate through four floors of The Link carpark in Makati, the fair’s home since it began six years ago.
Use this handy guide so you can make the most out of your visit, whether you’re a long-time art fair patron or a first-time participant. The fair opened its doors to the public on Thursday, March 1, and will run until Sunday, March 4.
1. Book tickets in advance. While tickets are available at the reception desk at the venue, walk-in slots are limited.
2. Time your visit. To ensure that the flow of visitors is more organized, Art Fair Philippines has timed entry periods for the public fair days: 10:00 am to 1:30 pm; 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm; and 5:30 pm to 9 pm. Co-founder Trickie Lopa clarifies that guests may stay as long as they wish during the fair hours and that they may leave at their own convenience.
3. Start from top to bottom. It’s a practical route that will take you through Escritorio by CANVAS Gallery and Yayoi Kusama works at Gallery Kogure (7/F), Daniel dela Cruz’s Imaginarium and Nilo Ilarde’s 24,124 cars (6/F), and black and white photographs about Philippine tribes from Neal Oshima and another about iconic streets from Weegee (5/F). The latter is on loan from the International Center of Photography in New York.
4. Interested in a piece? Ask the gallery staff. They’re there to help you, even if you don’t have the intention to buy an artwork. And if you’re lucky, you might even meet the artists themselves and ask anything related to their work.
5. Ask for payment options. If you do decide to buy an artwork you like, some galleries offer installment options for credit card or post-dated checks. Talk to the gallery owner about what you can both agree on.
6. Don’t forget the secret rooms. Some galleries have maximized their spaces by installing mini-rooms that have more art pieces inside so be sure to be on the lookout for that.
7. Avoid bringing large bags. It can get crowded at certain hours and you find it hard to move around if you’re lugging around a large backpack. There are sculptures everywhere, some with price tags higher than college tuition fees, so make sure you don’t accidentally knock anything over. Comfortable shoes? That’s a no-brainer.
8. There’s food. You don’t need to leave the fair to grab a bite — there are food and refreshments concessionaires inside the art fair.
9. Don’t hog an art piece. Selfie addict? Do take a photo with the artworks and share away on social media but be mindful of others who may want to appreciate the artworks. But do not use flash from your phone or camera to avoid damaging the artwork.
10. Don’t skip the talks. As in previous editions, there will be talks about art, collecting, and everything in between. With topics that range from photojournalism to social realism, these educational sessions are as important as the art themselves.