EVENTS AT THE FAIRARTFAIRPH/Tours
Studio Tours by: Nona Garcia, Abbie Lara and Kawayan de Guia
Studio tours of six Baguio artists.
Nona Garcia, Abbie Lara and Kawayan de Guia visit the studios of Carlo Villafuerte, Leonard Aguinaldo, John Frank Sabado, Mark Tandoyog, Rocky Cajigan and Olie Olivete.
Watch the event footage on Youtube.
(b. 1978) Showcasing his work in fabric art, Baguio-born Villafuerte pieces together recollections and impressions of the northern city using hand-sewn fabric. As a visual artist, Villafuerte works mainly with fabric, reworking used thread, cloth and small objects into new compositions. First producing functional pieces, Villafuerte eventually made works that were featured in group exhibitions at the Victor Oteyza Community Arts Space (VOCAS) in 2010, the 2013 Singapore Biennale, and the 2014 exhibit titled ‘Markets of Resistance’ held in Baguio. He currently has an exhibition at the Drawing Room Gallery in Makati.
Leonard Aguinaldo’s work with rubbercut and woodcut medium serves as vivid records of local culture: a reverent, sometimes satirical, snapshot of people’s practices and customs, and the animating beliefs-the spiritual and inner worlds-that hover quietly within them. Spanning an artistic career of almost two decades , Aguinaldo has crafted depictions of highland and lowland life, traditions, indigenous and christian beliefs intertwined with social commentaries. A recipient of CCP’s Thirteen Artist Award in 2003 and the grand prize in the Asean Art Awards in Bangkok in 2004. Aguinaldo is recognized for championing ethnographic art, notable not only for how his chosen subject matter pays homage to the story of a people but also for how his technique and medium hark back to the place where they are made. Having been raised in Baguio, Aguinaldo takes inspiration from inherent craft, citing as his artistic influences the humble wood carver, weavers and artisans in his home town. The artist likewise revels in the ubiquity of folk art during fiestas and trade fairs in the province.
John Frank Sabado
He is a self-taught artist born in Mankayana, Benguet and now based in Baguio City. Sabado is known for his intricate artworks with themes that draw inspiration from Cordillera culture and beyond. In 2000, he was a recipient of the 13 Artists Award of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. In 2001, he was Juror’s Choice in the Philippine Art Awards and finalist to the 2002 ASEAN Art Awards in Bali, Indonesia. He was also a finalist to the Philippine Art Awards in 2003 and 2013.
Sabado held a series of solo and group exhibitions in local and in prestigious international venues since 1990 to the present, such as the 3rd Asia-Pacific Contemporary Art Triennial in Brisbane, Australia (1999), 16th Asian International Art Exhibition in Guangdong, China (2001), 2nd Fukuoka Asia Art Triennale in Fukuoka, Japan (2002), and at the Gallery Rho in Seoul, Korea (2005) among others.
Mark Tandoyog’s works retrofit the anarcho-punk into everyday slogans on local politics. He also marks canvasses with pop satire that read as absurd more than the shock of conventional punk visuals. In one of his works, “SUGAR COATED EMPTINESS” is painted over an image of stacks of Coca-cola bottles.Tracing his ethnicity to the Kankanaey community, he lives and works in La Trinidad in the Cordillera Region where his graffiti line the streets. Mark Tandoyog, like most artists based in Baguio City and its peripheral towns, has no art school training. He practiced as a professional nurse before his shift into art-making. The rare union of “indigenous” and “punk” informs his “making,” pairing pop and folk imagery, humor and agitated sloganeering. The slogans are linguistically layered, satires are understood in different tones to dialect readers and readers in English. His wordplay is a testimony to the multilingual culture of his hometown where even the lingua franca is a mix of mountain Ilocano and Filipino. To Mark, his focus on dualities is more an engagement with his community as it assimilates to global capital. It is more than a strict philosophical construct in art-making.
His work in assemblage, installation, and painting are often focused on identity, transition, indigeneity, and decolonization. Works he has produced range from boxes filled with spiritual and ritual objects to installations of back strap looms repurposing discarded protest banners into threads.
Cajigan’s work includes co-organizing and co-managing art projects in the Cordillera including the AX(iS) Art Project, an organization that since 2011 has gathered artists to assess what regional art means and public access around contemporary art. He is currently based in Benguet, Philippines where he continues to examine his Bontok indigenous history and what that placement holds in identity formation and representation.
He is a born and bred Baguio artist & he currently uses wood & tile mosaic, as well as mixed media in his artworks. As a Baguio native, he feels disadvantaged in expressing his “roots”since he doesn’t have a Cordilleran heritage compared to the other talented artists we have here in the North. Because of this, he looks for other ways he can express his love of the Cordilleran culture other than using conventional representation.
Oliver believes that if an artwork doesn’t affect you either positively, negatively, nostalgically or emotionally, then it is just an ornament. That is why making the audience have a connection to his artworks is also what he aims for. He also wants to influence young artists looking at his artworks to “think outside the square” when expressing themselves. Experimenting with mediums typically not mixed together & pushing his creativity to its limits was brought about by his slow & painful recovery from a life-changing surgery.
It was on November 2016 when he underwent a 19-hour surgery in Manila where the doctors removed 2 tumors in his esophagus and upper stomach. The surgery as well as the complications that followed when he was recovering here in Baguio are what “pushed” him to be more fearless when it comes to creating art. It’s as if the fear of dying made him fearless in his pursuit of creative self-expression. Olie won the grand prize in the competition/art exhibit “Kulay ng Siglo” of the 1st Creative Art Festival of Baguio last 2018. This was also at this time when he received a confirmation letter from NCCA that his one-man show proposal was approved. His one-man show titled “Laro Tayo: Pagkabilang ng 3 Nakatago na Kayo” opened on January 2020.
Su Llamado lived and worked in the Philippines from 1985 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2005. She moved to Baguio in 1988 as a partner at Cafe by the Ruins. Some of the founding members of the Baguio Arts Guild (BAG) were also partners at Cafe by the Ruins. As a result, Su became increasingly active in BAG and as Secretary-Treasurer assisted in the organization and implementation of BAG’s activities, including the Baguio Arts Festivals. Su returned to the US in 2001 and during that time earned a Masters Degree in Arts Administration, with an emphasis on community development through the arts. Upon Su’s return to the Philippines in 2001, she was based in Manila but continued her work with members of BAG, assisting in the production of the film Showman-Shaman, a posthumous documentary about Robert Villanueva, the posthumous exhibition of Santiago Bose, Memories of a Talisman at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and as manager of the Pinikpikan Band.
Abbie Lara is a director and video editor. She is one of the editors and videographers for Kidlat Tahimik’s 35-year film-in-progress, Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment, that won the Caligari Prize in the Berlinale Forum during the 65th Berlinale Film Festival in 2015. The film also won Best Achievement in Film Editing, as well as Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design at the Young Critics Circle Awards in 2015. Due to her extensive work as an editor and director for television documentary films, such as GMA’s i-Witness, she is often invited as a resource person for various workshops, including the Baguio leg of Film Development Council’s Make the Cut! Film Editing Workshop, which was held in 2016.
Born 1978 Manila, the Philippines
Lives and works in Baguio City, the Philippines
Nona Garcia probes into the essence of things, setting up a dichotomy between the transparent and concealed, framed and natural, the sublime and the everyday. In 2013, she relocated to mountainous Baguio City in Benguet Province. Since then she has responded to the immediacy of this landscape, creating large-scale, highly realistic paintings of scenes viewed in and around her new home. Garcia’s X-ray works are another key aspect of her practice. Focusing on Cordilleran and indigenous artefacts, reliquaries of saints, or delicate animal bones designed in the form of a mandala, she has created installations using lightboxes as well as window-based works. Paradoxically, the process of exposure results in images that are more mysterious — bathed in luminescent blue light, each flaw made visible, the bones and objects take on a new life.
Kawayan de Guia
Born 1979 Baguio City, the Philippines
Lives and works in Baguio City, the Philippines