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Modern Art Takes Over July with MoCAF 2023

Art events will be dotting the capital on July weekends with the return of the Modern and Contemporary Art Festival.

Story by
Team GRID

July is gearing up to be an exciting month for veterans and newcomers to the Philippine art community. In its second year, the Modern and Contemporary Art Festival (MoCAF) returns to dot Manila with art from all over Asia.

This year, MoCAF remains true to its vision of positioning the Philippines as a global artistic and cultural center that will be recognized all throughout Southeast Asia. Unique to the 2023 activity lineup is the launch of the MoCAF XP, a series of immersive pocket events every Saturday of July before the festival kicks off. Each weekend will be a platform for new artistic and cultural experiences that Festival Director Coleen Wong says will, “give an opportunity to not just empower and inspire the youth but also give a chance for the ever-growing art community to flourish.”

Tideland, Carla Gamalinda

The first day of July will open with the MoCAF Art Bazaar at the XCEPTION in Legazpi Village, Makati. Following this will be the MoCAF Painting Workshop at the Art Caravan in BGC on July 8. Fans of printmaking should look forward to the MoCAF Printmaking Workshop at Commune in Poblacion, Makati on July 15.

Wong also explains that the festival’s goal is to forge an inclusive art community. “We partner with both established galleries who have been running for years, as well as young galleries who are slowly making their mark in the industry. Master artists and emerging artists are given the same platform to showcase their works. Despite differences and diversities, they all have the same passion for the arts and it all leads them to raise the Philippine art scene above par,” she says.

On the festival days of July 28 to 30, MoCAF goers can expect premier local and international art galleries and institutions to headline the event. “We wanted a one-stop shop in a small venue for collectors to be able to see some of the best art there is in a very convenient location and in a short span of time,” shares Festival Chairman Ricky Francisco.

Oil and Goldleaf on Canvas, Katrina Cuenca

MoCAF will showcase special exhibitions that will place prominent and rising figures of Philippine contemporary art in the spotlight. These artists will include the likes of Katrina Cuenca, Daniel Dela Cruz, and Michael Cacnio, who have exclusively made pieces for the festival. MoCAF Discoveries, another exhibition featuring the country’s most promising creatives will also return with 24 brand-new artists and 16 returning from last year’s roster. Aside from that, the MoCAF Dialogues lecture series will foster conversations from different sectors of the art community to inspire discourse about pressing issues in the art scene. 

And aside from prominent local galleries, MoCAF are also welcoming international art galleries from Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These galleries include YOD TOKYO & Editions, Gallery Kogure, Kobayashi Gallery, Artemis Art, and Srisasanti Syndicate.

Pencil on Paper, Izumi Akiyam

This year’s festival seeks to curate an artistic experience for a wider range of art collectors and enthusiasts. “​​More and more people are getting into art. And they believe that art shouldn’t be just on the walls—it should be something that’s part of life and something that everyone can enjoy,” Francisco says.

MoCAF will run from July 28-30, 2023 at The Grand Ballroom, Fairmont Makati. Tickets are now available for purchase at mocaf.net. Follow MoCAF on Instagram and Facebook for more details and updates about the festival.

Poster of Modern and Contemporary Art Festival, Fairmont Makati, July 28-30 2023

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