In a time when everything seems to be at a standstill, art becomes our constant refuge in exploring the world and its infinite possibilities. For its current edition, the International Contemporary Art Fest (ICAF) remains committed to presenting diverse perspectives that have emerged from the flux of visual interpretations portraying contemporary sensibilities. Organized by Galerie Stephanie on its third iteration, ICAF gathers the works of twenty-seven artists from fourteen countries. Together, they form an ensemble that traverses across borders and regions.
Returning from previous editions are artists Anton Subiyanto (Indonesia), Noor Bahjat (Syria), Roby Dwi Antono (Indonesia), Cristina Gamón (Spain), Nunzio Paci (Italy), Meghan Hildebrand (Canada), Hideo Tanaka and Keiko Yokoyama (Japan), Dan Barry (USA), Imam Santoso (Indonesia), and from the Philippines, Vincent de Pio and Aileen Lanuza. Here, we find ourselves immersed within the meanings and contexts attached to every image and portrayal. ICAF is a testament that the world continues to be filled with a multitude of ideas in order to articulate the present, understand the past, and anticipate the future. From figuration to abstraction, the influence of cultures, traditions, and the internet has transformed the way artists reflect and decide to render their truths.
This year, ICAF is joined by another set of artists whose practices galvanize what it stands for: a platform invested in dissimilitude and distinctiveness of art. They are Julie Liger Belair (Canada), Akira Miyamoto and Atsuko Yamagata (Japan), Chayanin Kwangkaew (Taiwan), Liew Mei Toong (Malaysia), Hae Ryun (South Korea), Ciane Xavier (Brazil) and Philippines-based artists Renz Baluyot, Alexander Calceta, Anton del Castillo, Shannah Orencio, Gabby Prado, Reybert Ramos, Juan Sajid Imao, and Dexter Sy. The works of these artists further pave the path that ICAF had already started in 2018, highlighting the confluence of schemes and intentions that perhaps define the contribution of art in these unprecedented times.
With more than eighty works, this exhibition is configured to probe our preconceptions on how we see everything around us: from the people we interact with to observing nature through landscapes and other means whilst considering the places that had become sites of art-making. Indeed, with the insurmountable desire to decipher, ICAF directs our gaze to these accounts and interrogates our perception and observation of the universe. Now more than ever, we must allow ourselves to experience what is in front of us at all times.
text by Gwen Bautista
To access the exhibition catalogue, click here.