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Here's Why You Shouldn't Miss "The Wonder Room" Exhibit At Art Fair Philippines 2019


The Art Fair Philippines event conducted annually at The Link in Ayala Center Makati attracts people from all walks of life. During a recent discussion about Art Fair 2019, Stephanie Frondoso, the Exhibition Curator for The Wonder Room, talked about the much-awaited event together with artists Gabriel Lichauco, Aze Ong, Bambina Jacinto, and Lilianna Manahan.

“For Art Fair Philippines 2019, we will feature works made by Filipino and foreign artists in an exhibit called 'The Wonder Room.' The concept was borne out of my fascination with the Renaissance wunderkammer, which is a room where a collector would keep all his valuable objets d’art which shows the collector’s interests and love for beautiful and unique and meticulously handmade treasures,” says Stephanie.

According to Stephanie, their concept of a Surrealist scenography for The Wonder Room will be executed by featuring a modern day wunderkammer and Lilianna Manahan, one of the featured artists for the exhibit, also takes on the role of Exhibition Designer for The Wonder Room.

Each artist featured in the exhibit, makes use of different medium for their art. Unique art objects in various shapes and sizes which are made from ceramics, paper, wood, metal, textile, stone and glass are included. It is interesting how each artist’s style is different but overall, the curated objects create a cohesive look and feel that is aligned to the surrealist scenography concept.

Here are some of the featured artists for The Wonder Room exhibit for Art Fair Philippines 2019:



Gabriel Lichauco makes design-centric works that were made through a collaboration with various craftsmen.


Gabriel Lichauco

Gabriel Lichauco, who studied at the College of Saint Benilde and took up his masters in Industrial Design in Scuola Politecnica in Milan, shared his design process: “I work with different craftsmen and do a collaboration for an art piece. I try to bring all the components together and find the best guys to work with. For the Squeeze and Hammer art pieces, it took two months to make those. I did the design, collaborated with three stone carvers who were formerly students of Escuela Taller and also worked with a furniture artisan who executed the finish of the metal parts. After that, I tied the pieces together using a rope and combined the use of a Japanese way of tying called Shibari (which means “to tie decoratively”) and boating knot techniques."

Gabriel shared that Escuela Taller, a technical/vocational formation school in Intramuros that is run by a foundation and was previously started by the Spanish Embassy, helps economically challenged youth through skills development and training. Thus, by tapping Escuela Taller graduates, Gabriel is able to help them earn and give them an opportunity to learn too.

By looking at the art objects designed by Gabriel Lichauco and learning about the hard work and collaboration involved with different craftsmen to create each piece, one would see that his works are definitely design - centric and that as a designer and artist he likes material experimentation in creating his art pieces. His aesthetically pleasing works also focuses on form versus function.



Bambina Jacinto likes drawing faces and doing figurative work. She is a social realist who likes capturing everyday scenes and Filipino subjects in her paintings.


Bambina Jacinto

A newbie to the Art Fair event is artist Bambina Jacinto, who studied Classical Painting at Kline Academy in Los Angeles in the US. She will celebrate her 25th birthday during the Art Fair week, and expressed her enthusiasm in joining the event, saying, “It’s my first time to join Art Fair Philippines and it’s exciting and surreal." 

Though she is the youngest among the group of artists featured in The Wonder Room, Bambina is certainly disciplined and believes in practicing daily to hone her skills as an artist. Her parents may not have been artists but people close to her saw that she had talent and enjoyed painting when she was growing up. “I sold my first artwork when I was 16 years old. Family and friends encouraged me to become an artist. My sister, who worked as a designer for Ralph Lauren, also influenced me a lot. I remember that when I was a kid, I liked drawing faces and have always been attracted to doing figurative work," says Bambina.

By applying old master oil techniques and painting ordinary urban and rural scenes, Bambina is able to turn everyday scenes into classic paintings. She is inspired by history, by artist Paul Gauguin’s works and she expresses her social realist and nationalistic side through her paintings. She tells Metro.Style, “I am used to seeing people everyday and I capture it in my paintings since I feel it is an expression of who we are as a people today and that I am capturing a piece of history through my paintings."



Aze Ong uses crocheting technique in making art and believes that art is intuitive and relies on what one feels.


Aze Ong

“I studied in Assumption and enjoyed crocheting ever since grade six, when it was taught in Home Economics class. I just like crocheting and I found it meditative. It is something that I would do when I am happy or when I need to express what I feel”, says Aze Ong of her art.

Aze is a self-taught artist. She has a Mass Communications degree from Assumption College and worked as a production assistant for a local noontime TV show before. Her love for crocheting has evolved into art in 2010, when a friend told her that what she has been making is art. She then experimented with different types of yarn.

Her immersion in Bukidnon as a volunteer before resonated with her since there are similarities between her and the tribe community when it comes to doing art and being resourceful. She saw them using mud for their art and it is similar to her process of using different materials that are available and crafting them together to produce art.

“For me, creating art is intuitive and I rely mostly by what I feel. My art pieces for the exhibit which is called SINEW is a series about having something old and creating something new," Aze tells Metro.Style.

As an artist, she believes in doing meaningful work and learning continuously, saying, “I think it is important to think about your purpose and why you do what you do. You cannot be contented since you have to learn new skills, read and research to become better."



Lilianna Manahan’s art pieces reflect her personal stories, love for history and her running theme on Creation. For Art Fair Philippines 2019, Lilianna is also the Exhibition Designer for The Wonder Room.


READ: Lilianna Manahan's Unique And Whimsical Glass-Blown Creations Deserve A Place In Your Home


Lilianna Manahan

Lilianna Manahan, who studied at Central Saint Martins in London and took up Industrial Design at the University of the Philippines, has always liked making things with her hands.

As an artist, she makes her own mock-ups by hand and collaborates with craftsmen who help turn her design to an art piece. For the exhibit, Lilianna’s works include glass-blown art pieces from the Frame series that show bubble-shaped animals with delicately sculpted parts inside, and reflect her running theme on Creation. There will also be a feature on new art pieces that she made using her combined creativity and metalsmithing skills.

“For this year’s Art Fair, I am also working as an Exhibition Designer and have been working closely with Stephanie Frondoso in order to create The Wonder Room. My art pieces from The Befores, a collection running along the same line of my fascination with creation and history, will also be featured. These are made to look like collected specimens of creatures yet to be formed and frozen in the stages in between," says Lilianna.

Lilianna’s current art pieces show that she gets inspired by the biblical Genesis story, and her love for history. The art objects she makes represent a process of transformation but at the same time has a touch of her personal stories.



Stephanie Frondoso, Exhibition Curator for The Wonder Room, was fascinated by the Renaissance  wunderkammer, a room where a collector would keep all his valuable objets d’art and shows the collector’s interests and "love for beautiful and unique and meticulously handmade treasures."


A variety of creative visions

The Wonder Room will feature a variety of creative visions from artists who will surely inspire visitors one way or another. Stephanie Frondoso mentioned that for the delicately-made glass art pieces by artist Goldie Poblador, which include floral scents, they will have an innovative way of presenting it.

Other featured artists include Stanley Ruiz, Aleth Ocampo, Ma. Rita B. Gudino, Ricky Ambagan, Wataru Sakuma, Yodel Pe, and Jiri Pacinek, a Czech Republic glass artisan.


To checkout the The Wonder Room exhibit at the Art Fair event, look for the Salcedo Private View booth during the Art Fair Philippines 2019 event at The Link in Ayala Center Makati from 22 - 24 February 2019. To find out more about Art Fair Philippines 2019, visit:


Produced by Tess Raymundo

Photography by Greg Mayo