WHILE museums and art galleries remain closed, and gatherings for art events are still prohibited, enjoying — and purchasing — art continues online.
Salcedo Auctions launched its first online gallery with the exhibition titled A/NEW: Recent Works by Allain Hablo, Rodin Fernandez, and Von Ng on its official website (salcedoauctions.com). It held an online vernissage for the online gallery and exhibit on Zoom on May 9, with the two of the three featured artists, the Salcedo Auction staff, guests (some of whom deactivated their video), and the press present.
A/NEW features 12 acrylic on canvas works from abstract artist Allain Hablo’s Kintsugi series; eight geometric wood sculptures by architect and visual artist Rodin Fernandez; and six acrylic on canvas works by expatriate artist Von Ng.
Allain Hablo entered the art scene as a finalist at the Shell National Student Arts Competition in 1991. For the Salcedo exhibit, Mr. Hablo’s 12 works reflect the Japanese art of kintsugi in which broken pottery is repaired with lacquer and a precious metal. The artist uses earth and amethyst hues accented with gold mimicking a lighting flash.
Ten years after taking over his father’s Architectural Design Studio, Honrado “Rodin” Fernandez, Jr. experimented with old materials and tools for his sculptures. For this exhibit, Mr. Fernandez crafted cubes made from narra, acacia, and mahogany. The wood he worked on, he said, were pieces that were just lying around his house.
“In this series, I have set physical limits for myself. Starting with cubes that may look identical on the outside, but are actually made from different varieties of wood and cut from different parts of the tree, each cube has its own unique set of grains similar to the human fingerprint,” Mr. Hernandez wrote in his artist’s statement.
In the exhibit, visitors can get a 360 degree view of each wood cubes by clicking on the media button on the upper right corner.
Currently based in Beijing, Von Ng studied Architecture and Industrial Design but shifted to pursuing abstract art. For this exhibit, he showcases six post-apocalyptic inspired abstracts.
“Growing up, I was always into science fiction. I was always drawn to that certain aesthetic. When I did art, it always had something to do with that aesthetic… I was also drawn into what [the image] looks like when it has decayed,” Mr. Ng said during the online vernissage. “That’s what I wanted to capture.”
“In more recent years, my fascination with the aesthetic of post-apocalyptic imagery has had a strong impact on my work,” Mr. Ng wrote in his artist’s statement. “This tension and interplay informs my work and my art-making process, as the narratives of hope from destruction, order from chaos, and rebirth from the wreckage play out on the canvas.”
THE VIRTUAL GALLERY
Similar to the online viewing rooms of recent international art fairs, Salcedo Auction’s online gallery can be navigated through a virtual space where the artworks are displayed. Visitors may select a work and zoom in for a detailed view. Instructions for navigation are found at the bottom of the gallery space. On the upper right corner is an information bar with the artwork’s price. It also includes an inquiry button.
“You’ve seen a lot of people mentioning viewing rooms that would be the default venue for seeing art nowadays. We did a bit of exploring to find a [platform] that was not just aesthetically delightful but was easy to navigate,” Salcedo Auctions director Richie Lerma said.
“We will continue to utilize it even when [quarantine] restrictions are lifted,” Mr. Lerma added. “When we are allowed to have our physical space operating and gathering people, we will certainly do that. But, at the same time, for those who are unable to [go] or are not comfortable [going out] just yet, we have our virtual space as well.”
The online exhibition runs until May 22.
Meanwhile, Salcedo Auctions’ subsidiary Gavel&Block will hold an online auction on May 23, 2 p.m., on its official website. A portion of the proceeds from the A/NEW exhibit and the Gavel&Block online auction will go to feeding programs of the hunger relief organization Rise Against Hunger (RAH) Philippines.
For more information, visit salcedoauctions.com or contact 0917-825-7449, 0917-107-5581. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman