Cover Guests look at the works of Andres Barrioquinto in one of the previous StART art fair participation of One East Asia gallery

The annual StART art fair returns this year featuring massive site-specific installations and contemporary works from well-known artists from more than 25 countries

Since 2014, the annual StART art fair brings the works of artists from around the globe to be viewed on a worldwide scale. Its Global Eye programme for 2020 has included the works of K-pop stars Ohnim and Yooyeon as well as Henry Lau, as part of its effort to focus on the art scene from Asia.

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This October, StART art fair takes centre stage at the Saatchi Gallery, featuring 70 emerging and established global artists and galleries from more than 25 countries.

This year, the Singapore-based gallery and international art management One East Asia is bringing in Andres Barrioquinto again as part of its roster. Barrioquinto has been one of the most critically acclaimed and most selling Filipino artists of the Philippine contemporary art scene.

Since 2014, the gallery has been representing the said Filipino artist and in 2016, Barrioquinto had his first solo exhibition at the StART art fair entitled, It Will All End In Tears. This was followed by his second solo exhibition entitled, This Is My Beautiful Title, in 2019. Veronica Howe, managing director and chief art consultant of the said gallery talks to Tatler about Barrioquinto, his artistry, and the importance of putting the Asian artists at such an esteemed global platform:

Tell us what you think of Andres Barrioquinto's technique and style and why is One East Asia proud to showcase his works at the StART art fair

Nebulous, indistinct, and compelling, Barrioquinto’s works have universal, international appeal. In his use of the body, and more often, the face, Barrioquinto has a place within a well-established tradition in the Philippines. He has always used figuration because of his obsession with the nature of human existence—the violence underneath, the proximity of death and the fugitive nature of life’s meaning. His best-known work uses the imagery of conflict found in Japanese woodblock prints, ukiyo-e, which hints at the disorder lying beneath the apparent harmony and beauty of the world.

Read also: Provenance Art Gallery Presents Limited Edition Andres Barrioquinto Prints

Whatever Filipino artists do, they do with love in their hearts. Their deep understanding on the importance of human connection, along with their rich and incredibly complex history makes them unique, and, we believe, gives them an interesting edge.
Veronica Howe

Tell us more about your thoughts about the other Filipino artists you are presenting at the fair.

Other Filipino works that are exhibited reflect the extraordinary versatility, skill, and talents of the following gifted artists: Abi Dionisio, Jayson Cortez, and Jotyl Jan Bermudez. Their works serve as a platform of expression that reflects the lives of Filipinos not just living here in the UK, but all over the world.

StART in London inevitably brings a strong sense of community not only for the Southeast Asian community in London, but also for the art world as a whole.  This art fair helps people to appreciate cultural diversity and broaden our understanding of each other as human beings.

You are bringing in the works of other artists like Anida Yeou Ali from Cambodia, Alvin Tan Teck Heng from Singapore, Chang Fee Ming from Malaysia, and many more. Tell us more about them, what binds them together that makes One East Asia a perfect presenter of their works.

We also revisit star artists and make them “born again” to engage with new audiences. Chang Fee Ming is a renowned Malaysian watercolourist whose portfolio we brought to London in 2015. That same year, we also brought Jane Lee's, who is a Singaporean contemporary star artist. Furthermore, we nurture young artists such as Jayson Cortez and Abi Dioniso by giving them true international exposure at Saatchi gallery. We also gave Alvin Tan Teck Heng, a Singaporean award-winning and established ceramic artist, his first solo exhibition in Singapore in 2013 and then in London in 2020.

One East Asia would like to engage this established visitor group by curating shows that draw attention to how contemporary practice has grown out of the indigenous traditions of Southeast Asia. What binds these artists together is the fact that they all look at what happens in the world from an Asian perspective.

Read also: Get to Know These 4 Unique International Art Galleries Participating at the Art Fair Philippines 2021

Has there been progress in terms of global appreciation of the artists that came from this region?

This upcoming show at StART 2021 proves that we are committed to making Southeast Asian fine art part of the London art market. Arguably, One East Asia is the gallery with the strongest educational programs led by experienced key personnel. One East Asia is not merely about buying and selling art, more importantly, One East Asia is in the business of selling dreams and experiences!

We see the rise of Southeast Asian artists being showcased in the global market e.g. Andres Barrioquinto in London,  Ronald Ventura (USA), Rodel Tapaya  (Berlin) Christine Ay Tjoe (Indonesia) represented by White Cube. We also see a rise in Southeast Asian artists participating in international biennales.

What do you think is the edge of our artists? What are the characteristics of their works that make them unique?

The Philippines have perhaps the longest history amongst the countries of Southeast Asia on institutional support for visual arts, having opened its National Art Gallery in Manila back in 1926.

Whatever Filipino artists do, they do with love in their hearts. Their deep understanding of the importance of human connection, along with their rich and incredibly complex history makes them unique, and, we believe, gives them an interesting edge. They have managed to cultivate their own exceptional artistic identity, drawing from their troubles and triumphs as a country and as a people, and integrated it with their acute awareness of global trends from being naturally adventurous and curious.

This approach allows them to nurture a personalised message and effectively deliver it in a very visually compelling manner—this can be through natural materials in homage to their traditions or through their own take of Westernised approaches. All these factors culminate in fascinating, authentic commentaries from the most interesting souls. Overall, Filipino artists have a large variety of art styles to offer the global audience and could be well of being a disruptive positive and powerful force for good in the international art market.

Read also: Ronald Ventura: The Art Provocateur

More on StART art fair 2021

“As we gear up for the 8th edition of StART, I am prouder than ever of the talent we have on display," StART founder David Ciclitira says. "Rather than having a section of the fair devoted to emerging talent, this Fair is entirely for emerging talent, the names of tomorrow. Don’t just watch this space, come and interact with it!”

Giving the guests an interactive experience, StART art fair partners with Samsung to provide interactive screens that will allow visitors to appear inside their favourite picks from the exhibitions.

"We are happy to partner again with StART for a second year, and have increased our tech to include a green screen that will allow visitors to become part of their favourite artwork, we hope everyone will enjoy this year’s event with technology that enables even better life experiences," Damon Crowhurst of Samsung Electronics for UK and Ireland says.

Besides the on-site exhibitions from October 13 to 17, the fair will also have an innovative, e-commerce platform. StART.art aims to be a one-stop destination for artists, galleries, and collectors worldwide. Selling traditional and digital art, as well as art-based merchandise, artists will be able to mint and sell NFTs on the platform, which will accept crypto-currencies. Unlike other online art sales sites, the works on StART.art will be curated by a high-profile team, led by Dimitri Ozerkov, Director of Contemporary Art at the Hermitage Museum, working alongside Serenella Ciclitira, with curator and founder of the Asian Art Archive Johnson Chang on the advisory panel.

"StART.art is making buying art accessible, practical, and fear-free for the new collector, whilst presenting new artists to the established collector," StART managing director Nicola Gross says. "Our collaboration with celebrities—from Asia to Africa—to produce wearable art is one of the exciting directions we have chosen to take. In the future, we look forward to extending this range and to adding other features such as timely StART TV."