Written by CJ Laylo; Photos by Kath Ramirez and Elaine Lim
The day Wonder Girls’ “Nobody” and 2NE1’s “Fire” started playing (and blasting) in jeepney speakers and Pinoy parties, there is no doubt that K-Pop has deeply penetrated Filipino pop culture. The love of fans to this genre are easily scattered in the internet: memes, reaction videos, merchandise, and fan-arts, just to name a few. But it is not always that we see events where K-pop fans meet and express their heartfelt love for their idols through their very own artistic mediums—especially in the Philippines. Thankfully, Hallyu Art Fair 2019 answered to those looking for such.
In its first edition in 2017, Hallyu Art Fair featured both fan-artworks from Filipino K-Pop fans and official K-pop merch like albums and lightsticks. This time, coming back for the second edition, the 2019 Hallyu Art Fair approached the visitors differently, focusing on artist and their artworks—both local and foreign. The event ran for two days, from November 30 to December 1 at the ASPACE Greenbelt in Makati.
For the first day, there was a live painting exhibit of one of the scenes from IU’s “Twenty-Five”, a collaboration of Resa (for the pop colors) and Daniel (for IU) while a lecture about Korean art influence on PH was done for the second day.
With the theme “Daydream,” Hallyu Art Fair 2019 showcased different types of well-made fan-arts: from digital to traditional paintings, ink, and even cross-stitch. Artists also sold their printed fan-arts should visitors fancy themselves to these masterpieces.
Probably the first one that caught everyone’s attention is the huge portrait cross-stitch of BTS’s V (Kim Taehyung) made by Lynn. She said it painstakingly took her a year to finish it. Next to it were the viral BLACKPINK members in Filipinana, drawn by Justine Florentino. As a self-taught yet now successful artist himself, he advised other K-pop fans who are artistically enthusiastic to never stop practicing your craft.
Another set of unique art piece are the ink portraits of Anthony, which mainly features K-drama actors and actresses. Meanwhile, the huge oil paintings of Daniel can spark anyone’s curiosity, as he painted Girls’ Generation’s members on an old, dilapidated, yet still-working vending machine. For him, it is a statement on how K-pop girl groups of this generation still spend and gamble everything they have to be considered the present equivalent of Girls’ Generation.
The second Hallyu Art Fair exhibit gave a warm experience to Kpop fans, especially those with an interest in art. AJ, one of the artists who made digital paintings of DAY6, Chaeyoung, and Jenny, said that this year’s exhibit feels more personal and intimate, as artists and visitors can chat and talk about the exhibit.
Although it can be intimidating and awe-inspiring, Hallyu Art Fair is not an exclusive event. It is both for artists and non-artists alike. As it shifted its focus to artwork alone, it became a venue to highlight the hard work of both fandom and art. Indeed, one can feel the sense of community and belongingness in Hallyu Art Fair.
Here’s to looking forward to another Hallyu Art Fair!