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ManilART '23: Unveiling the Vibrant 'New Contemporary' Art Scene

By Cesar Cruz Jr.

Amidst the backdrop of three years of pandemic challenges, ManilART'23 makes a triumphant return as a celebration of contemporary art, gathering artists, collectors, and enthusiasts at the grand Gala opening night on October 11 at the SMX Convention Center Taguig. This year's theme, "A New Contemporary," encapsulates the spirit of change and continuity in the post-pandemic art world.

Embracing Change and Honoring Legacy

Navigating the ever-evolving post-pandemic landscape involves embracing change while honoring artistic legacies. The invitational opening gala and vernissage serve as stylish symbols of resilience and the embrace of new beginnings. Guests are encouraged to don celebratory attire as they immerse themselves in a world of art and excellence.

Selected Fair Highlights

With thirty-two booths featuring over two hundred artists, ManilART'23 showcases a diverse array of talents. Esteemed artists like Junyee, Ramon Orlina, and Romulo Galicano join rising stars like Kublai Millan and Marge Organo. Noteworthy is the inclusion of larger-than-life pieces by artists such as Ram Mallari and Jik Villanueva. The fair also embraces new media, featuring digital and interdisciplinary expressions, including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and digital and video art.

Special exhibitions in collaboration with Museo Orlina highlight art cars designed by Orlina, including collaborations with artists Bencab and Marcel Antonio. Additionally, a multi-sensory experience awaits at the Estate Lounge, featuring the stunning Ledesma Champagne Fountain and free-flowing Vivace sparkling wine courtesy of sponsor Novellino Wines. The Estate Lounge, a joint offering of SMDC and Federal Land, offers a taste of luxury in the heart of Makati.

The Estate Lounge will also host an invitational afternoon sketching session with master portraitists, including renowned names like Raul Isidro and Gig de Pio. Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, adorned in a Filipino designer dress, will be the special guest sitter.

ManilART'23 also brings back walking tours for Taguig public school students, school and group tours, and a limited number of open sign-ups.

A New Art World of Interconnectivity

Having adapted to the global challenges, ManilART'23 expands its online presence, offering simultaneous, multi-location, and satellite exhibitions. These digital spaces bring art to a broader audience, allowing them to engage with art from their own spaces. Satellite exhibitions include collaborations with Museo Orlina, Silangan Art Fair, and the Manila Clock Tower. The full exhibition will be available for online viewing starting October 12 at

National Museums and Galleries Month of October

As the flagship project for Museums and Galleries Month of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, ManilART'23 remains committed to strengthening the Creative Economy and promoting Philippine visual artistry. This year's exhibitors include OMVI Art Gallery, Galleria Nicolas, M Gallery MNL, Ysobel Art Gallery, and many more.

ManilART'23 runs from October 11 to 15, 2023, at the SMX Aura Convention Center, Taguig City.

ManilART'23 is proudly supported by various partners, including the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Museums and Galleries Month, BAGO, Ladder Events Productions, The Estate Makati, SMDC, Novellino Wines, Experience Travel and Living, among others.

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