Sunday, April 7, 2013


Written by: Wrachelle Cablog

Last month, Jef and I went on our first trip outside the Philippines to attend the Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong which was held last March 15-17, 2013 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.  It was our first time to attend an international art event this big so we were ecstatic. Galerie Francesca, the gallery representing Jef’s work here in the Philippines, was one of the three galleries in the Philippines—with Galerie Nicolas and Quattrocento—which applied and got slots to participate in the said event. 

HISTORY: The Affordable Art Fair was created by British arts patron Will Ramsay in London in 1999 with the aim of breaking down perceived barriers in the art world, like expense and lack of knowledge, offering a comprehensive introduction into the joys of owning contemporary art. Since then the fair expanded to various cities around the world like Amsterdam, Bristol, Brussels, Hamburg, New York, Mexico City, Milan, Rome, Seattle, Singapore, Stockholm and for the first time this year, in Hong Kong. The fair includes contemporary art by both emerging and established living artists (local and international), retailed between HK $1,000 and HK $100,000, with 75% of the art under HK $75,000 and  offers diversity from paintings to prints, sculptures and photography.

The VIP/Private View Night (by-invitation only) opened last March 14 from 5:30 to 9:00 PM. Here are some photos we’ve taken that evening:

                                              works above by Carlo Magno, below by Roel Obemio       
                       works by Jef Cablog and Migs Villanueva (paintings) and sculptures by Jinggoy Salcedo 
                                                                                            Hall 3G Entrance
                                  Back: "EMERGE" and "GLIMPSE" and and four of Jef's Figured Obscurity Series
at the 3rd floor lobby

                with Susanne Tiausas, owner of Galerie Francesca (beside me) and gallery representatives Precy and Loddy
                    with Susanne Tiausas and artist Sir Carlo Magno (with three of his works at our back, above our heads and on the upper left hand side)

We were overwhelmed by the support given by the people in Hong Kong to the Art Fair. We even met some visitors who are avid collectors of Philippine Contemporary Art and told us that our participating galleries showcased a varied array of styles, some they’ve never seen before. Having shown his work in Hong Kong for the first time, Jef and I were also overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by local and foreign nationals alike towards his work. 

Here are some pictures taken with Jef and his collectors:

                      Jef with collectors of "EMERGE", Omar Moufti (Syrian) with his fiance Angele Charioni (French)
                                            Jef with collectors of "FIGURED OBSCURITY 57", Shi Hong from Hong Kong

 we also got the chance to meet couple Fabrice Figaret (French) and Kristy Cho (Korean), collectors of "GLIMPSE"
Having seen a wide variety of art styles from all over the world, Jef is more inspired to do even better with his art. We enjoyed our first trip abroad and would love to go back to Hong Kong one day. This trip inspired us to travel and discover/learn more about other cultures. Who knows, Jef’s new inspiration or subject may just be another trip away. After all, as Seneca once said, “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
 “All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” Samuel Johnson


Here's a list of what we observed on our first trip so far. Hope this would be helpful to first time visitors too.
-Some buildings don’t have 4th, 14th, 24th floor, and so on. After asking around, we found out that the Chinese have a general dislike for the number four since it sounds like “death” in Cantonese.

-As part of their escalator etiquette, always stay on the right hand side. The left hand side is for people who are in a hurry who want to save up a few seconds. We also noticed that their escalators move faster than normal so always hold the handrail.

-People move faster than normal so they look like they’re are always on the rush. But when you eat out, the good thing is, it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes for them to process your order/s. And speaking of food, eating at McDo and KFC is cheaper than Chinese restaurants. 

-No one eats nor drinks in the MTR or other public transports. They also impose strict penalties for littering and spitting (HKD1,500) and smoking in public or in designated no-smoking areas (HKD1,500). 

-Some supermarkets or convenience stores do not provide plastic bags for the items you bought so it is advisable to bring your own shopping bag. Otherwise, you have to pay for the plastic bag. Also, some locals say shopping at Wellcome is far cheaper than other supermarkets or convenience stores.

-The MTR is a very convenient means of transportation around the city. Instructions at the entrance and exits are very visible and destinations are color coded so you will not get lost. It is advisable to buy an Octopus card if you’re planning to take the MTR often so you won’t always have to queue, carry coins or pay in exact fees. You can also use your Octopus card in convenience stores or restaurants.

-Almost all public restrooms are clean and have toilet papers, hand soap or sanitizers.

-Money changers are in almost every corner but the banks usually offer the best rates.