A week from now, the most prestigious galleries in the Philippines will come together to present their best works of art. This annual event is Manila Art. And this year, it's happening at the Mall of Asia.

For those who have never tried going, I understand the hesitation. I know firsthand how intimidating it can be to walk into a gallery. I'm not an artist and I certainly will not be able to converse about art in an academic sense. But I know the feeling of being affected by a piece of work. It is like a light bulb switching on inside. For me, attraction is instantaneous for some pieces of work. That's how  I felt about Banksy's  street art.

For other works, the feeling is creeping. Like a warm glow of a changing sunset.
Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth grew on me and to this day, I love it.

 Sometimes, you don't understand a piece of work until much much later. The work stays in your subconscious and when the mind is ready, appreciation is triggered. This happens to me a lot with performance art. The first reaction is, "WTF?" and then it dawns upon me just how brilliant the work is.  (Check Marina Abramovic's , "The Artist is Present" at MOMA.)

The important thing is to be open and unafraid.  Look art straight in the eye. Don't be scared to ask questions to yourself or to others. No one will force an opinion out of you or ask you to write a reaction paper. If something strikes you, then that's great. If nothing does, move on. There will be lots of other works to look at. What have you got to lose? The entrance fee is just P200.

They're even giving out a free invite in this issue of Contemporary Art Philippines. I got my copy from Fully Booked yesterday and I'm so excited for next weekend. I think Filipino art is amazing and more people need to know what's out there. I find it hard to feature works here because I can't get decent photos from the web. Most of the works are displayed in galleries then bought and cooped up in wealthy homes here and abroad.

Here's a map to the venue. Make a weekend out of it. Drag your loved ones.
You don't have to be able to buy art to appreciate it. And if you don't like it, at least you gave it a shot.
Happy weekend friends!