In its second edition, ICAF: International Contemporary Art Fest gathers fifteen visual artists from all over the globe in a celebration of art in the globalized age. Representing eight countries: Japan, Italy, Canada, Syria, Spain, Indonesia, USA, and the Philippines, ICAF will be open for all to view from June 6 to 16, 2019 at the East Atrium, Mid-Level East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

This year, ICAF is joined by ten foreign artists: Hideo Tanaka and Keiko Yokoyama from Japan, Nunzio Paci and Alessandro Sicioldr from Italy, Meghan Hildebrand from Canada, Noor Bahjat from Syria, Cristina Gamon from Spain, Imam Santoso and Roby Dwi Antono from Indonesia, and Morgan Rosskopf from the US; and five local artists Emman Acasio, Aileen Lanuza, Vincent De Pio, Jone Sibugan, and Cru Camara.

Amassing more than 50 artworks in a stunning array of styles, media, and concepts, ICAF is a glimpse into the breadth of the global contemporary art scene. Stepping past the illusion of a singular historical narrative, this exhibit seeks to open audiences’ eyes to the multiplicity of perspectives, cultures, and ideas across the world. One may see artistic differences as wide as the miles separating each artists’ national borders, or similarities that allude to a universal symbolic language; but at its core, the exhibit seeks to be a celebration of humanity’s interdependent diversity.

New to the Galerie Stephanie line up are Keiko Yokoyama (JP), Alessandro Sicioldr (ITA), and Meghan Hildebrand (CA). Japanese artist Keiko Yokoyama creates poignantly cute works that feature charming stuffed animals, children, and settings that tug at the heart like a forgotten childhood fantasy; Italian Alessandro Sicioldr is a “painter of the imaginary,” who recreates visions from the unconscious using a blend of contemporary and traditional techniques; while Canadian Meghan Hildebrand paints electrifying dreamscape scenarios with colorful improvised harmony.

The five Filipino artists are a mix of hyperrealist, impressionist, experimental painting, and photo manipulation. Emman Acasio creates amalgamations of landscapes and endangered fauna as a reminder of the Earth’s finite beauty; Aileen Lanuza juxtaposes the quiet fortitude of peace and the passionate strength of the female figure, likening it to the mysterious language of flowers; Vincent De Pio uses the icons and aesthetic of Japan to give a unique visual structure to his chaotic storm of thoughts and emotions; Jone Sibugan experiments with soot and ink to depict the mushroom – a signifier of both life and death; and photographer Cru Camara, with her keen sense for composition, turns the organic into a lush unrecognizable world of color and vibrance.

Previously having collaborated with the gallery, the foreign artists Hideo Tanaka (JP), Nunzio Paci (ITA), Noor Bahjat (SY), Cristina Gamon (SP), Imam Santoso (ID), Roby Dwi Antono (ID), and Morgan Rosskopf (US) return to ICAF due to popular demand. Japanese artist Hideo Tanaka presents works of stunning realism that shift the audience’s perspective of reality; Italian artist-anatomist Nunzio Paci creates highly detailed works that deal with the relationship between man and nature, the body and its mutations, and the infinite possibilities of life; Syrian Noor Bahjat is an expressionistic painter who addresses the intricacies of life with her deeply atmospheric canvases; Spanish Cristina Gamon presents gestural abstract paintings that allude to the tropical vibrance she experienced during her 2018 Philippine residency; Indonesian Imam Santoso, a conservationist at the National Museum of Indonesia, paints interpretations of his country’s diverse cultures and worldviews in a colorful woodcut-inspired style; Indonesian pop surrealist Roby Dwi Antono debuts his first edition of handpainted polystone sculptures inspired by the all-knowing innocence of childhood and its icons; and American intermedia artist and florist Morgan Rosskopf overwhelms her surface with information, cutting out intricate shapes as space for the viewer to reside.


Notes by Kara de Guzman