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Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 0 comments

By Dexter R. Matilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:51:00 09/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines - In a time when the demand for Asian art has significantly increased, 22 distinguished art galleries have come together and create what should be the newest movement to push Philippine art right to the forefront.

Bago, or Bonafide Art Galleries Organization, is composed of 1/of Gallery; ArtAsia; Art Circle; Art Exchange; Art Verite; Blanc Art Gallery; Choice Expressions; Crucible Gallery; E Galerie; Galerie Astra; Galerie Francesca; Galerie Joaquin; Galerie Stephanie; Galerie Y; Gallery BiG; Gallery Nine; Gallery Genesis; Kulay-Diwa; My Little Art Place; Renaissance Art Gallery; Ricco Renzo Galleries and Village Art Gallery.

Avant Garde Greetings CEO and Galerie E owner Jonathan Sy says that Bago’s goal is to promote Philippine visual arts as a unified and coherent body and “somewhere down the road, professionalize the players in what is sometimes regarded as an ungoverned industry.”

Sy is concerned about the rising incidence of fake artworks (some of them “certified authentic”) and the devaluation of art due to some artists willing to sell their works way below the market price.

Sy was quick to add, however, that Bago isn’t looking to radically change the way the business of art is today. He says the organization’s immediate goal is to give new artists a chance to showcase their works.

Putting up shows, he says, requires money, and unless an artist is an established one, galleries would be wary of spending for an exhibit.

Bago’s first project is the 1st Philippine Annual “State of Art” Group Exhibition on
Sept. 18-28 at the Art Center of SM Megamall Bldg. A in Mandaluyong City.
Some 50 artworks from emerging artists who have never exhibited solo before, priced at P20,000 up, will be on display.

Bago will also organize art competitions and publish a gallery guide book.
“We found a need to act as a group,” says Sy. “What we’re doing right now is take it one step at a time by promoting new artists firsts. But we want to make sure that all the projects of Bago are successful by raising awareness of the organization’s presence.”

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