ALT Philippines Immerses The Manila Scene With A Reframed Art Show

The term “collective” is more than apt for the galleries behind ALT Philippines 2020. 

Cartellino ALT Philippines Artinformal Gallery
Installation view of Artinformal
Cartellino ALT Philippines Art For Taal
Art for Taal
Cartellino ALT Philippines Blanc Gallery Johanna Helmuth Pow Marin.jpg
Installation view of Blanc

For those at the vernissage on the third floor of SM Aura’s SMX Convention Center last weekend, the art show’s set design invariably comes to mind. Much like a honeycomb, the hexagonal booths for each gallery—Artinformal, Blanc, Finale Art File, Galleria Duemila, MO_Space, The Drawing Room, Underground, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery, and 1335 Mabini—connect, and without overlap. Converging at the center was Art for Taal, which featured the only united body of works by artists from the different galleries. Along with the ticket sales, the proceeds from this collection would go to the St. John Nepomuceno Parish evacuation center for those displaced by the recent eruption.

Cartellino ALT Philippines Vinyl on Vinyl Jellyfish Kisses
Jellyfish Kisses at Vinyl on Vinyl
Cartellino ALT Philippines Vinyl on Vinyl Reen Barrera
Reen Barrera at Vinyl on Vinyl
Cartellino ALT Philippines Vinyl on Vinyl Iyan De Jesus
Installation view of Vinyl on Vinyl
Cartellino ALT Philippines Underground Gallery
Installation view of Underground Gallery

Without designated points of entry or exit, the setting’s tessellation makes for an interactive type of enclosure. Visitors could both roam and immerse themselves freely and join scheduled series of tours ALT offered throughout the weekend. Called Frame-by-Frame, guides explained the individual contexts of the various galleries, as well as information on their respective artists and artworks. The program also featured a live painting performance by Dex Fernandez on the first day. On the 15th, ALT hosted a forum entitled Dialogues with Tony featuring Jill Paz, Mark Justiniani, and Ling Quisumbing as guest speakers.

Cartellino ALT Philippines Finale Art File Liv Vinluan
Liv Vinluan at Finale Art File
Cartellino ALT Philippines Finale Art File Ayka Go
Installation view of Finale Art File
Cartellino ALT Philippines West Gallery Luis Lorenzana
Luis Lorenzana at West Gallery
Cartellino ALT Philippines West Gallery Nicole Tee
Nicole Tee at West Gallery

All told, ALT was not your usual art show. It didn’t call for just spectatorship. In place of a roadmap for local contemporary art, ALT presented a contiguity of hives—the autonomy of each one for the viewers to discover. It’s this salient proximity in the honeycomb design that embodies ALT’s directive of “reframing.” When it comes to visualizing a space for contemporary art, it could only be an ongoing process. One that we all participate in as we circle about different points-of-view from space to space, frame to frame.

Cartellino ALT Philippines West Gallery Kris Ardena
Kris Ardeña at 1335 Mabini
Cartellino ALT Philippines Galleria Duemila Jose Tence Ruiz
Installation view of Galleria Duemila
Cartellino ALT Philippines MO_Space Roberto Chabet
Installation view of MO_Space
Cartellino ALT Philippines The Drawing Room Diokno Pasilan
Installation view of The Drawing Room

ALT Philippines 2020 ran from February 14–16, 2020 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig City.