Books & Art

See Who's Joining the First Modern and Contemporary Art Festival in the Philippines

It's a celebration of the Philippine Contemporary.

When we think of modern and contemporary art, we know these movements for their distinct expression and experimentation of color, shape, and form. Pieces from these eras are characterized by a different visual language, often coming out of social developments and events that changed the course of history.

And if there is any indication where art in the Philippines is headed now, it is in its modern masters and, of course, its newest artists. So it just makes sense that we should see a renaissance of sorts for the scene after the pandemic.

This is what the "Modern and Contemporary Art Festival (MoCAF)" hopes to capture in its first edition. Not only will it be presenting budding artists and galleries, the art fair will also showcase the country's revered masters, those who reflect the fast-developing Filipino modern and contemporary art.

“The Tutelage of a New Angler” (2021) by Jared Yokte, Acrylic on Canvas.

Photo by Arte Bettina.


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Presented by Art+, MoCAF will feature leading Filipino galleries like Ysobel Art Gallery, Village Art Gallery, DF Art Agency, Leon Gallery, Secret Fresh, and Qube Gallery, among others, at the event. 

“We envision MoCAF as a momentous culmination of modern and contemporary artists, galleries, and collectors, bridging together opportunities in these different art sectors to grow and appreciate one another’s endeavors,” said Fundacion Sansó Director Ricky Francisco, who curated the solo artist presentations and group exhibitions for MoCAF.

He continued: “Through MoCAF, we aim to strengthen the identity of Filipino modern and contemporary art and focus on the Philippines as a global artistic and cultural center that will be recognized all throughout Southeast Asia.”

"LEEwok and Friends" (2018) by Romeo Lee, Oil on Canvas.

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"I Don't Cry, I Make Art" (2022) by Aann, Oil on Canvas.


Francisco, who has an extensive background in art with curatorial stints with Singaporean, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Japanese artists and institutions, is also glad to welcome international galleries such as Japan's Gallery Kogure and YOD Gallery, which will be showcasing pop art from select local artists.

Programs and lectures will also be held as part of the fair. For instance, there will be a contemporary printmaking exhibition with Elmer Borlongan, Angela Silva, Maya Muñoz, and Henrielle Pagkaliwangan. MAGIS Creative Space and Robert Alejandro will be conducting an art therapy and workshop, as well. Meanwhile, MoCAF's Art+ Discoveries will highlight promising local artists today.

“We started MoCAF in order to showcase works from both modern masters and cutting-edge contemporary artists through well-curated special exhibitions. We aim to promote young and emerging Filipino artists and give them a sense of empowerment through participation in our art festival,” explained MoCAF Head of Operations Jewel Chuaunsu.


A young National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz and his "Still Life with Bread, Fruit, and Wine" (1975), Oil on Canvas. Special exhibitions from Aguilar Alcuaz, Ramon Orlina, Michael Cacnio, Anton Del Castilo, and Robert Alejandro will be hosted during MoCAF, too. We can also expect some extremely rare works from Juvenal Sansó.

Photo by MoCAF.

"Atis, Modern Day, Flora de Filipinas" (2022) by Robert Alejandro, Mixed Medium on Paper Board. The Papemelroti founder will be hosting his first-ever exhibit at MoCAF.

Photo by Robert Alejandro.

For the festival's MoCAF Dialogues series, the talks will revolve around the macro- and micro-perspectives on where the art scene is headed, which should be discussed at the “Economic Outlook and Its Impact in the Art World" and “Art World Today and The Luxurious Market" talks.

Ambassador Jose Mari “Jomari” Cariño and Gus Vibal will also be hosting “The Future of Art Publishing.” Julius Babao, who has emerged as quite the collector in the landscape, will be taking part in “Collecting Art: Perspective of Collectors.” “Curators Speak: Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale,” on the other hand, will discuss Filipino art as a global phenomenon.

Furthermore, the Huawei Digital Artists for 2022 awards will be presented to artists Jea Gaviña and Margaux Janelle, who should be showing their digital works during the event under the theme “Digital Technology and Art in the 21st Century.”

"Through our efforts, we hope to highlight arts and culture as essential elements for social development, creating a space for cultural communication through art," Chuaunsu added.

MoCAF will run from July 29 to 31, 2022 at the Grand Ballroom of Fairmont Makati. To register for tickets and to know more about the different activities and workshops, please visit

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Bryle B. Suralta
Assistant Section Editor
Bryle B. Suralta is the assistant section editor of Esquire Philippines.
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