856G and Kristoffer Ardeña in Art Dubai 2019 / by 856G Gallery

Private Days: March 19-20, 2019
Public Days: March 20-23, 2019



856G and Filipino artist Kristoffer Ardeña are pleased to announce their participation in Art Dubai 2019. Based in Cebu, Philippines, 856G is the only gallery from Southeast Asia to participate in the BAWWABA, a new section of the fair debuting this year, curated by French-Cameroonian curator Elise Antagana. BAWWABA features 10 solo presentations of the latest contemporary art from around the world.  

Image of one of the 'retaso' rug that Kristoffer's work at Art Dubai is based on.

Image of one of the 'retaso' rug that Kristoffer's work at Art Dubai is based on.

The participation by 856G and Kristoffer Ardeña highlights the current situation in the Philippine art scene. The cultural and commercial hub of the Philippines is Manila with a burgeoning gallery scene, luminary private institutions, and artists creating a dynamic buzz in the capital city. Yet, a gallery not located in the capital city and an artist who from the island of Dumaguete have been invited as the first Philippine representation in Art Dubai.

INVISIBLE painting (Rolyo furniture) in collaboration with Clark Mendoza; painting the retaso rugs with acrylic emulsion.

INVISIBLE painting (Rolyo furniture) in collaboration with Clark Mendoza; painting the retaso rugs with acrylic emulsion.

The dynamism between the capital city and the islands is further highlighted by the fact that it is not in Manila but in the outlying island area of the Visayas where the longest running biennale, VIVA EXCON, in the Philippines has taken place. Since 1990, VIVA EXCON has been a venue for shared knowledge in an attempt to bridge the art communities in the island. There is growth in both the economy and the creative scenes in these areas, and it is important to note that the growing cultural endeavors are initiated at the grassroots level with minimal governmental and institutional funding.


In the position of the cultural node in the city of Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, and the outlying Visayas, 856G has taken a multi-faceted approach as a gallery. In addition to the traditional white cube exhibition format, 856G also curates pop-up exhibitions in different cities across the Visayas, hosts artists residencies that encourage Filipino diaspora artists and young Cebu creatives with their own research, and hosts various community events like zine fests and participatory group shows for local artists. It is within this open format and emphasis on exploration of the tropical that connected Kristoffer Ardeña with 856G. Within 856G, Ardeña