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Artinformal opens its second gallery at The Alley

ArtInFormal kicks-off 2018 with the opening of its second branch at The Alley at Karrivin Plaza on Feb. 15. The expansion marks the gallery's transition as it redefines its programs to distinguish Artinformal's original location in Greenhills, now referred to as AI1, from its offshoot located in Makati, AI2.

The wall at the second floor of the gallery is adorned by artworks made from wooden planks, paper and paint - Slow Painting by Brisa Amir

Tina Fernandez, Founder and Creative Director explains that both galleries will definitely offer different art experiences with AI1 showing curator-lead exhibitions and AI22 running solo shows by artists. "This makes it more exciting because AI1's viewers will be presented with angles and ideas that will make them look at the exhibition in its entirety and not only each artist's work individually," Tina explains. “In Makati, I choose the artists for the solo exhibitions. This was AI1’s original program which I am moving to Makati. Solo exhibitions will show viewers a particular artist’s current body of works and how these are presented in the context of an exhibition,” Tina continued. 

To celebrate Artinformal’s exciting new phase, Tina masterminded its rebrand, starting with the logo which was refreshed by graphic design house, Inksurge. The modified typeface in lowercase is more casual, a nod to the word “informal” and the gallery’s relaxed character. “We took inspiration on how Artinformal started where there is always a relationship between two (2) points - the artist and the gallery, the audience and the space, the collector and the curator, creative exchanges and encounters, etc., The basis of the dots was derived from the abbreviation of "ai" since it has been the vernacular to ground-zero (Artinformal in Greenhills) . The initials were dissected to create a visual cue,” explains Rex and Jois of Inksurge. 

With the Creative Director, Ms. Tina Fernandez

Jagnus Design Studio’s principal architects and co-founders, Sonny Sunga and Arnold Austria, took charge of AI1’s dazzling revamp as well as the redesign of AI2’s location, a former office at The Alley. Sonny and Arnold reined in their signature strong style in accommodation of Tina’s straightforward mandate: The art should be the star. 

To prepare the space for the required minimalist aesthetic, Sonny and Arnold knocked down walls and stripped off the wooden plank flooring. Vast planes were created, all painted a pristine white. The architects chose cement for the flooring, its texture and tone extending to an angular stairway (the solitary feature gesturing to the architects' distinctive marks) that leads to the upper exhibition halls. 

Drinks and lounge area is available at the second floor

Tina called on WE Design’s Mark Wilson for AI2 to support Arnold and Sonny’s architectural design. “We applied our usual signature, which is lighting design with high visual comfort and style, including attenuating the perimeters of the space so that proportion and volumes are accentuated,” Mark explained. 

Just like AI1, the Makati gallery has spaces for art viewing, a backroom that holds inventory, as well as rooms for entertaining. “The area for drinks and lounging is homage to the kitchen at the old Artinformal,” Mark said. “I suggested this because the volume of this space recalled, to my mind, the spatial volume of the kitchen at the old Artinformal, where everybody liked to congregate and hang out. The essence of that homage is a wall featuring five sconces made out of dinner plates and water glasses — to my mind, quintessential components of any space where food and conversation take place.” 

With a blogger friend at the facade of Artinformal's new home

Arnold and Sonny added a masterstroke in creating a fa├žade that is both unique and yet discreet, or cohesive with AI2’s interiors. A composition of fine textures and geometrics subdued with a coat of white encapsulates the gallery’s new identity as a modern, dynamic exhibition space for contemporary art.

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