CEBU CITY, Philippines – Illustrators, designers, writers, and poets are expected to flock to the Queen City of the South this July for the country’s first art book fair.
Local artists in Cebu announced that they will be organizing the Cebu Art Book Fair which will take place in Crossroads in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City this July 2 and 3.
It will be the first art book fair for the Philippines, said Cebuano artist Marc Abuan, one of the event’s co-organizers.
“This is an exciting venture for artists, designers, writers, and poets as we will be having the first art book fair in the Philippines,” Abuan told reporters during their press launch last June 13 in a mix of Cebuano and English.
Abuan also said they are expecting around 100 artists, writers, and poets to participate in the fair.
The first Cebu Art Book Fair will go by the theme Estoryang Binutbut, said fellow Cebuano artist Mark Deutsch, who is also one of the co-organizers of the Cebu Art Book Fair.
“And Cebu, as one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities, is the perfect place and opportunity to host a community event that aims to showcase printed art to the public,” said Deustch.
What to Expect
Organizers of the Cebu Art Book Fair have already begun tapping local and international artists to join the activity.
Some of those who are expected to participate included Palanca awardee Lawrence ‘Larry’ Ypil who is also expected to conduct a workshop on poetry.
Dozens of tables featuring myriad artworks ranging from zines to collectibles will be placed all over Crossroads during the two-day event.
“As a lifestyle and creative hub, we want to inspire creatives in Cebu at the same time, allow the general public to immerse in the printed art form,” said Jeaun Tolsa, marketing lead of Crossroads.
Cebu Art Book Fair is open to the public, with a gate fee of P20 per day.
“We’re hoping this will be a success so we can organize another Cebu Art Book Fair in the future,” Deutsch added.
Art book, or also known as an artist’s book, is defined by the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives of the United States as ‘art in book form’.
“An artist’s book is a medium of artistic expression that uses the form or function of “book” as inspiration. It is the artistic initiative seen in the illustration, choice of materials, creation process, layout and design that makes it an art object,” they added.
However, art book fairs are not exclusive to art books alone. Art book fairs have become avenues for artists, art book creators, illustrators, writers, poets, and independent publishers to establish connections and showcase their works to the general public.
According to experts, art book fairs are more open and less formal compared to traditional art exhibitions and book fairs.
Abuan said joining Bangkok’s Art Book Fair, one of the biggest and most prominent art book fairs in the world, inspired him in coming up with Cebu Art Book Fair.
“When the pandemic hit, it was also a very difficult time for artists not only in Cebu but also all over the world. And we believe now is the perfect opportunity to get back out there, and show to everyone our works,” he added.
Cebu Art Book Fair is co-presented by Crossroads and PR Works.