ManilART’19: An Omnium Gatherum of Artistry



ManilART, a 5-day national fair on its 11th year with the theme “Showcasing the Global Filipino Artist” was held last Oct. 9 to 13 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, Taguig to unveil worldwide Filipino talent.

The event was held in the said month in celebration of Philippines’ commemoration of Museums and Galleries Month. Additionally, ManilART is a flagship project of the National Committee on Art Galleries of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The exhibit showcased different forms of art from global Filipino artists. From paintings to sculpture, ManilART’19 did not fail to amaze the art world with its world-class talent. 


Nostradamus Prophecies I– Romulo Feliciano (Ominous)

The entrance to the exhibit started off with a painting with a leaden theme and a hefty meaning. With the rise of environmental concerns, Feliciano traced down on one of the heaviest typhoons the Philippines experienced–Ondoy. Feliciano tried to connect the noxious smoke which factories are emitting and the deadly typhoon.

Though the skies were painted orange, it was still gloomy and became mimesis of a new and bright morning for the victims of the said typhoon. Dead bodies were scattered to the point that funerals were not held. Although on canvas, Feliciano wants the people to know that the event on the painting happened and is still happening. It is imperative to take action on changing the planet because, without it, the situation could get worse.


“Gaze: The art of seeing or being seen” – Cid Reyes

A gaze is non-verbal, but unlike words, it speaks volumes. Although the women were colored in black and white, and the design accompanied were in vibrant colors, the spectator would eventually focus on the person, then the gaze. Reyes focused on the colors of objects with lesser detail unlike the portrait of the woman at the center. Although painted in black and white, the woman shown was realistic that it seemed like a photo displayed at an old photoshop.

This is how a gaze works, it’s not the first thing we see, but when the spectator realizes the message it tries to portray, it leaves a mark. You see it and it sees you, it is the beholder who is seeing and the audience being seen. It is the women affected by the theory of “Male Gaze” where women in social media are viewed from the eyes of a heterosexual man. These women are seen as passive objects of masculine desire.



“Tea Party” – Mayi Peñaflorida

Sugar, spice, and everything significant. Tea party has a dreamy concept with doll-like figures. Something a child would end up saying “Look mom! A doll!”. It easily attracted girls and women. Although colorful and vibrant, the set-up is similar to the last supper – a set up usually represented as something more significant and with less bold and bright colors. The girl at the center shares the same features as Jesus. Looking closely, the girls along the main subject are observed as the twelve apostles that display each of their dispositions and traits.



“Welcome To The Jungle” – Monnar, Artologist

Welcome to a jungle of artistry by Monnar. The exhibit blooms with the greenery, surrounding the paintings. The portraits are in the form of animals which illustrates an image of astronomical symbols. On a closer look, the colors which give the animals an astronomical effect are actually shaped in different colors and with different meanings.

Just like an animal in the jungle, the foliage was at first eye-catching but then looking closer at the scenery, beautiful animals await behind the greens. Although animals are bonny masterpieces, they still have good and bad innate personalities. They possess something inborn that nature wants and requires them to do in order to live. Looking at these characteristics, humans, and animals are not at par with their similarities.



Inspired by “Olafur Eliasson” – Marge Organo (Origins)

A bonny art show with lights and dances. Organo stretched the experience of the viewers with her artwork through the use of lights. The artist focused on playing with colors, light, glass, and different angles. On one angle, It looks like tiny planets with aliens designated on each.

On another lens, the sculpture looks like stars with unknown beings dancing, swirling, and jumping with them. Organo, like the aliens on top of what seems like tiny planets, danced with the tune of glass. She maximized the possibilities glass could offer with her sculptures.

Children were running, families were wow-ing, individuals in awe. The young artist inside every individual was captured and awaken. ManilART’19 might just be a hundred steps towards the exit, but each step was momentous and informative. Each work brought different feelings, from excitement to laughter, to nostalgia. ManilART’19 did not just exhibit artworks, but also left each of its audience memory and feeling to remember. F


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