It’s always nice to find great spots to hang out and do something new on weekends. Even better when you’re experiencing something for the first time and meet new people in the process. That’s what many people felt during the first-ever BGC Arts Center Festival yesterday.
The weekend fair showcases creativity both in art and sciences in the local scene. So no, you won’t just see paintings and sculptures here. There are also plays, improv, and performance art at the Maybank Theater.
Outside the theater, the Art Mart—a gathering of independent artists who are selling their work—was buzzing with people. Whether people were killing time before a play would start or just curious passersby, they looked enthralled with what they saw. Nina Acayan came out of the Art Mart tent with a set of stickers and told us she’s into Japanese-inspired designs but is looking into more Filipino-made works. “It’s my first time here and I would really love to see more localized art works and not inspired by Western [influences.]”
Artist Sherwin Sacramento was also ecstatic to be selling his works at Art Mart. “I just moved to the Philippines and it’s a very good experience. I hope this would continue [in the following years,]” he told us. He also gave us insight on the subject of his maze-like paintings. “It’s about human connection, the connection between the mind and emotions. If you look at my painting, the human body is only made with one line. It’s very hard to do but [in the end] you’ll see [how everything connects.]”
As the day went on, I noticed that human connection coinciding with art was a recurring theme. The mysterious performance artists of PaINt$tAcÜLaR, who were rolling in paint all day, encouraged guests to participate and basically just throw paint and water balloons at them. When asked about their intention for this piece, one simply said, “It’s the relationship between art and the body. The body is the paintbrush and we are creating art with it.”
It was the same with the members of the Philippine Street Dance Community who freestyled to remixes of songs in the SunLife Amphitheater, an encouraging sight for people who might want to join in. One spectator, Erna San Luis, watched them while waiting for My Name Is Asher Lev to start in the Globe Auditorium.
“I read about [the play] and it’s about this painter who’s having trouble with his identity,” Erna said. “I’m into sketching myself but sometimes I think if it’s for passion or a hobby.”
This is where art can relate to the human experience. Asher Lev, among many of the plays, brought on several emotions to its viewers. “It poses a lot of questions. Being an artist also, you ask, ‘What are you really doing [your art] for?'” theater actress Tricia Canilao said. “As an artist, it’s mirroring the journey and questions that you don’t normally ask yourself.”
Artist Micaela Pineda shared the same thoughts on the play. “The person beside me, there were parts where he was crying during some parts. But me, it was at the end that I started crying and thought, ‘What the hell did I just watch?'” she said. “The rawness of it speaks for itself.”
It was just the first day and you could see how each person connected both inside and outside the theater. The festival’s still happening today and perhaps, I might just go back to see if the positive energy is the same…or made better.
Photos by Nicco Santos
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