• Issue
  • Jan 02, 2024

Manila: Resurgence of Site and Critique

JAN SUNDAY, Illumination, 2023, mixed-media installation with antique candelabra, wooden hands, and mirror, dimensions variable, at the San Jose Capital City Center in Viva ExCon Antique, 2023. Photo by Philip Sebonga. Courtesy Viva ExCon.

The return of onsite art events and exhibitions across the Philippine islands finally happened in 2023, with a renewed focus on specific localities beyond Metro Manila. The country had suffered through the longest community quarantine in the world during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and art institutions were among the last the government allowed to reopen. While partial re-openings had occurred in early 2022, with Art Fair Philippines leading a hybrid event alongside many institutions trying to seek balance, most smaller-scale and independent art institutions only found the confidence to launch their events and projects in 2023, once they could fully expect onsite participants from across 
the regions.