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‘Total fail’: How communication breakdown broke Ballet Philippines’ leg

IF the Ballet Philippines (BP) controversy was used as a case study in change management, a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City would have given its board an F.

‘The democratic hand’ and the primacy of ideas over execution

FINDING a Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) in Art Fair Philippines is as unexpected as finding a vegan in a steakhouse. In his biography of LeWitt — a luminary figure in conceptual art — Lary Bloom writes that the artist, through his manifestos, urged people to “steer away from what is known and what is safe (and what is commercial).” What, then, are two of his wall drawings doing at an art fair, which is, by definition, a commercial endeavor?

Denise Weldon and Tom Epperson at Art Fair Philippines

PHOTOGRAPHERS Denise Weldon and Tom Epperson are once again sharing a booth in this year’s edition of Art Fair Philippines. Better known for their commercial work, Ms. Weldon and Mr. Epperson will present fine-art prints in Rooted and Sand Series, respectively, in a space designed by Migs Rosales and Team Caramel Creative Consultancy.

Dissatisfied with the car park, 10 galleries move to convention center

THE UNCONVENTIONAL charm of The Link car park in Makati City, home of Art Fair Philippines (AFP) since 2013, has faded for nine of the 10 galleries mounting their own event, ALT Philippines, at the SMX Convention Center.

Cultural activist Carlos Celdran, 46

CARLOS CELDRAN, the artist and activist who loved the glorious mess of Manila, passed away at the age of 46 in Madrid, Spain. His death was announced in a Facebook post by his wife, Tesa. “As the family is making arrangements to bring him home, no details can be announced yet. Only that he passed from natural causes,” the post said.

A refreshed Art Jakarta has a new venue, a new identity,...

ART JAKARTA moved to new digs for its 11th edition, the first one under fair director Tom Tandio, who quit Art Stage Singapore in January 2018. Mr. Tandio moved the Indonesian fair out of the plush ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place -- which the event called home for a decade, with its chandeliers and conspicuous red-and-yellow carpet -- and into the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), a concrete-floored high-ceilinged venue possessing the look preferred by art fairs everywhere.

Tales of the Manuvu: A 1970s classic for the 21st century

BOY CAMARA, a 69-year-old retired rock star and college heartthrob, was hanging out in New Jersey when he received a random message from Alice Reyes. Would Mr. Camara like to join the restaging of Tales of the Manuvu, inquired Ms. Reyes, the founder of Ballet Philippines (BP) who returned to the company in 2017 as its artistic director.

Ray Albano: Homo ludens, a playful man

RAYMUNDO “RAY” ALBANO is described by those who knew him as a “homunculus,” a “deformed clubfoot who walked with a limp.” The words aren’t meant to be cruel. They are said with affection, fond memory. Even Mr. Albano poked fun at his scoliosis, calling himself the “Quasimodo of CCP” — that is, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where he succeeded Roberto Chabet as museum director in 1970. It was a post that Mr. Albano held until he died in 1985 at the age of 38.

Denise Weldon: Taking a meditative pause over taking pictures

AS THE golden hour approaches, sunlight enters through the large glass windows of Denise Weldon’s airy living room in Urdaneta Village. Abstract shapes made by light and shadow caper on the ceiling and slink onto walls occupied by sprays of flowers and atmospheric canvases by Betsy Westendorp, translucent photograms from Neal Oshima’s Saya Series, textured black-and-white paintings by Gus Albor, and frenetic pops of green and yellow by Keith Haring. Silhouettes made by the surrounding foliage gambol down to the white couch, and flit to the floor. Ms. Weldon, a photographer who does both commercial and fine art photography, is enamored of this afternoon dance.

Sight | Raffi’s Way

WORDS SAM L. MARCELO If you fall asleep on the daybed in the living room of Raffi’s Way, you will be woken up in the...

Father Christmas

Jose Mari Chan explains why “Christmas in Our Hearts” is an earworm.

‘The oriental chrysalis is quitting its cocoon’

Jose Rizal, Benedict Anderson, and the Philippine Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. WORDS  SAM L. MARCELO | PHOTOGRAPHY  PAOLO LUCA In 1884, Jose Rizal toasted...

Celebrating Beauty | Gilda Cordero-Fernando

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OJ7oq88LTo Words Sam L. Marcelo. Roundtable discussion moderated by Joan Orendain. Photography Jonathan Baldonado assisted by Arvin Somera. Hair and makeup by Genstein Yuzon-Griffin. “Old” is...

Celebrating Beauty | Betsy Westendorp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OJ7oq88LTo Words Sam L. Marcelo. Roundtable discussion moderated by Joan Orendain. Photography Jonathan Baldonado assisted by Arvin Somera. Hair and makeup by Genstein Yuzon-Griffin. “Old” is...

Life after 70, going on a hundred

Talking with Ari Seth Cohen, founder of Advanced Style. INTERVIEW  SAM L. MARCELO | PHOTOGRAPHY  ARI SETH COHEN Ari Seth Cohen, founder of Advanced Style, a blog...

Celebrating Beauty | Agnes Arellano

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OJ7oq88LTo Words Sam L. Marcelo. Roundtable discussion moderated by Joan Orendain. Photography Jonathan Baldonado assisted by Arvin Somera. Hair and makeup by Genstein Yuzon-Griffin. “Old” is...

The prophet

‘If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it well. That’s all it is.’  WORDS  SAM L. MARCELO | PHOTOGRAPHY  JONATHAN BALDONADO Jose Tence “Bogie” Ruiz...

Favorite Things | Postcard moments

Jefrë Manuel on the difference between public art and ‘plop art.’ INTERVIEW  SAM L. MARCELO After undergoing triple-bypass heart surgery at the age of 35, Jefrë...

Talking to God: When artisans meet artists

Audemars Piguet and the surprising results of collaboration. The relationship between art, design, and craft makes good conversation fodder because it’s open-ended. WORDS Sam L. Marcelo “When...

Braving stormy weather

Alice Reyes, National Artist for Dance, as Lena Horne. Words  Sam L. Marcelo | Photography  Kai Huang It’s a gray and soggy Tuesday, the kind better...

Talking with Lorenzo

Excerpts from High Life's conversation with the Swiss art impresario INTERVIEW SAM L. MARCELO You’ve been quoted as saying that the problem with art fairs is...

Lorenzo Rudolf, the man with ‘a head of stone’

"I will never be Asian. I will never be part of Asian culture but sometimes, it’s an advantage to see something from the outside."  — Lorenzo...