Google Google+ Philippine Photography Blog: June 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Konyak Nagas: Tradition on the Edge

A Photo Exhibition by TENZING PALJOR

3:30 pm, Friday 9 June 2012
UP Baguio Library Multifunction Hall

The Konyak Nagas are one of the fiercest warrior tribes in the North-East India. They are proud, independent and gained notoriety as headhunters, a way of life that was prevalent until the 1940s. The Konyak land is spread over the northern Naga Hills on the Indian frontier bordering Burma where clusters of remote hilltop villages are still ruled by Aungs, hereditary chieftains that hold a king-like status. The Konyaks are the only tribes in the Naga Hills where this unique institution of Aungship is still prevalent today.

The social status of men is identified by tattoos over their faces, chests and arms. The tattoos present a visual narrative attributing the life of a headhunter. The artistry of the Konyak continues beyond the tattoos and can be found in the abstract symbolism and vivid colors surrounding them in their daily life.

The Konyaks isolation from the rest of the world until recently has kept their cultural tradition and identity virtually intact. However, regional unrest, economic pressure and proselytism by Christian missionaries have resulted in the new generation adapting a more globalized culture.

The cultural and oral traditions of Konyak Nagas that have survived for centuries are today passing through grave challenges. The older generation, who still hold on to their heritage and way of life, after passing away, will take with them centuries-old indigenous wisdom. This exhibit portrays the faces of the last of the keepers of the Konyak spirit.

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Faith Above Fate: Photographs by Veejay Villafranca

Faith Above Fate
Photographs by Veejay Villafranca
June 30 - July 20, 2012

The second installment of “Faith Above Fate” photography exhibit by renowned artist Veejay Villafranca opens on June 30, 2012 at 7:00 in the evening at JIV Manila Art Gallery located at 2nd Flr CK Building No. 61 Visayas Ave. Quezon City.

The exhibit will feature selected photographs mounted on light-boxes from Villafranca’s ongoing project focused on religion and Filipino life. The rest of the still images for the collection are projected digitally to give viewers an idea of his four-pronged project covering rituals in Siquijor, the feast of the Black Nazarene, penitence and faith-healing.
Known internationally for photography projects dealing with Filipino culture, Villafranca has shown numerous exhibits around the globe especially after winning the prestigious Ian Parry Art scholarship in London in 2008 and receiving the Crossing Point artist residency program in France in the same year.

“Postmodern and post-colonial, Faith Above Fate crosses the boundaries of time, culture, belief and critical thought. It seizes to see the ‘self’ through the other side of the artists’ lens” is how curator Avie Felix describes Villafranca’s project. The organizer, JIV Manila Art Group (a collective of practicing artists committed to promoting contemporary art), supports notable art initiatives such as Villafranca’s that strive to discover the meaning of life.

For more information about this exhibit of JIV Manila Art Gallery, call 455-4429 or visit or the artist’s site at Faith Above Faith runs until July 20, 2012.

Villafranca photo exhibit tackles religion
Interview & Photo Essay: Veejay Villafranca - Faith Above Fate 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Call for Submissions: Chobi Mela VII International Festival of Photography 2013


The sweeping gestures of photography have thrived on extremes. Great things, epic moments, the wretched, the vile, the dispossessed, the celebrated and the trodden, have all found themselves facing the lens. Photography has exalted suffering, celebrated the vain. Quiet moments, reflective spirits, the hesitant step, the furtive glance have rarely made headlines. Perceived as being unworthy of the shutter.

The shutter speed of 125th of a second reserved for momentous slices of time, never slows down enough to listen to the sighs of the silent. Photography therefore is a selective witness. The history it records, a filtered history. It is a filtration different from the dominant narrative of the victor that history has been guilty of. This is more insidious, as it seeps into the very core of our consciousness. I smile for my grandma's camera. The photojournalist waits for my tear to drop. The moments in between go unrecorded. A staccato history of grand gestures and seminal moments fails to record the nuanced lives we all live.

The medium has been digital all along. The black and whites of photography has largely failed to register the grey ambiguities of the human panorama, the binary perceptions that shape photographic vision failing to respond to subtlety. The everydayness of our lives with its tapestry of emotions, too plain to register amongst the dramatic peaks and troughs that photography has been measured by.

It is only through fissure that fragility has registered. It is only on being trampled that the delicate has been lamented. The staunch pillars of photography have rarely let light through the cracks. The frailty of a lost thought, the uncertainty of the first touch are the insignificants that a camera passes by. The fragility of a tortured earth, the slow death of a glacier, the disappearance of the honeybee, too slow a change to register in 125th of a second.

In a gendered world fragility is not macho enough. In a misogynic industry, to pause is to be effeminate. Where sex and violence are the opiates we are fed on, quieter moments do not even make the 'B roll'. A sob too insignificant to register on a megapixel sensor.

We look for those fleeting moments. A gossamer of gentle thoughts billowing in turbulent winds. An unraveling strand of humanity bending against the onslaught of invasive culture. The frail existence of a marginal farmer eking out a living in the shadows of engineered genes. Communities holding out against the rising tide of modernity. Lost languages, vanishing cultures, disappearing forests, all entwined by a vulnerability, familiar to those who resist market forces.

In an economy gasping for breath, in an ecosystem reeling under consumption, waste and the ravages of war, the greed of a few threaten the future of many. We challenge you to push back the tide of unbridled growth and lay your stake to a sustainable universe. It is only by embracing the fragility of this world that you will make it your own.

Deadline: 31 July 2012

For more info, visit:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CUT 2012: New Photography from Southeast Asia: Politics

Featuring works by
M.R.Adyatama Pranada, Athit Perawongmetha, Ampanee Satoh, Carlo Gabuco, Danny Lim, Green Zeng, Heman Chong, Jim Allen Abel, John Javellana, Liew Teck Leong, Nge Lay, and Zakaria Zainal

9 June – 1 July 2012  | Opening reception: 8 June, Fri, 7pm to 9pm

CUT 2012 is the latest installment of Valentine Willie Fine Art’s annual exhibition dedicated to contemporary photography in Southeast Asia. Featuring the work of new and emerging photographers across the region, the show focuses on the complexities of contemporary Southeast Asian politics and the relationship between people and State.

The changing faces of Government, that combine different styles of rule such as authoritarianism, democracy, monarchy and military, with desires for economic progress and social control, have instigated numerous unforgettable events across the region. These moments of development and inertia, change and oppression, protest and optimism make for some of the most memorable images in both photojournalism and fine art photography.

For complete details, visit Valentine Willie Fine Art

Friday, June 1, 2012

With Passion & Purpose: Photographs by Rick Rocamora

WITH PASSION AND PURPOSE: Photographs by Rick Rocamora
At the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Opening Reception: 13 June 2012
Pasilyo Vicente Manansala
2/F CCP Hallway Gallery

Artist's Talk:
21 June 2012
Bulwagang Luna (3/F CCP Main Gallery)
3:00 PM  - 5:00 PM

Documentary photographs have been described as “conscious acts of persuasion.” For San Francisco-based photographer Rick Rocamora, this has certainly been the case since taking on the camera in 1985. Before then, he worked in the US pharmaceutical industry in sales and management positions for 18 years. Rocamora, however, has always had a strong sense of activism shaped by Philippine conditions in the 1960s and 1970s. An anti-Marcos activist, he decided to leave for the United States in 1972 and gained a US citizenship in

Rocamora’s first series of documentary photographs tackled the plight of the Filipino World War II veterans, a concern that led him to eventually make a fulltime commitment to photography more than 25 years ago. Using his gift of persuasion, but this time through images, Rocamora brought attention to the struggle of these unsung war heroes. Titled America’s Second-Class Veterans, the poignant and often disturbing images were instrumental in exposing the abuses and scams that beset the Filipino veterans. Rocamora states that in the process of compiling this series, he “lived the life of a veteran” allowing him to produce pictures that tell the most intimate stories of his subjects. Moreover it has been noted that he portrayed these men with “tenderness and respect…their dignity is undiminished.” He has since taken on various advocacies as evident in the many completed and ongoing series he has pursued in the US, Central America, and the Philippines.

His images from his motherland have been described as “very painful and does not uplift the image of the Philippines … to the outside world.” To this, his response is to underscore the responsibility of a documentary photographer of not hiding “the truth but instead use our work to call attention to issues of our concern or encourage debate.”

During frequent trips to the Philippines, Rocamora would spend most of his days roaming around Metro Manila where poverty was palpable and real. An ongoing series, This is Our Home, is about homeless families who he realized are not transients. He would see them on his return visits in the same place thus establishing friendships. From this he compiled a photo essay on Rodallie S. Mosende: Hope among the homeless of Paterno Street” which influenced a benefactor to grant Mosende a 4-year scholarship starting this school term.

For Rocamora, the exhibition title With Passion and Purpose is an apt statement about his vocation and the advocacies he is committed to. He selected seventy images to represent his other series such as those dealing with the Muslims after 9/11, inmates in city jails, juvenile detention centers and maternity wards. Also first to be presented in public is his series of the 1081 Claimants – headshots of the claimants under the Marcos Martial Law Victims.

The exhibit opens on 13 June, Wednesday at 6 pm at the Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (2/F Hallway Gallery), CCP Main Theater building and will be on view until 12 August 2012. Viewing hours: 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. For more information contact the CCP Visual Arts & Museum Division at 832-3702 or email

The exhibit is organized with assistance and support from: Human Wrongs, Philippines, Think Tank photos, GAIA South, Inc. Environmental Consultants, UP Sigma Rho Fraternity, Canon Philippines, and Krispy Kreme.


RICK ROCAMORA has won awards for his images and picture stories from Asian American Journalist Association, SF Bay Area Press Photographers Association, New California Media, Media Alliance; he was awarded a California Arts Council Art Fellowship and a Local Bay Area Heroes Award from KQED and Union Bank of California for his work about Filipino WW II Veterans. His work has been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and other national and international print and online publications.

His work is widely exhibited in national and international museums and galleries. His work is part of a collection of American arts most recently exhibited at the Court of Saint James in the United Kingdom and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. His work is included in the traveling exhibition “Points of Entry-A Nation of Strangers,” which was exhibited at the Smithsonian, Center for Photographic Arts, Museum of Photographic Arts, and other venues. His images are part of “Pork and Perks – Corruption and Governance in the Philippines” a National Book Award winner in the Philippines in 1994. “Second-Class Veterans” a film produced by Don Young that profiled Rocamora’s undying efforts to document the day-to-day lives of Filipino veterans was broadcast on PBS stations in 2003 and 2004. His book about Filipino WWII veterans, “America’s Second-Class Veterans” was published in 2009.

He is also working on a project about Muslim-Americans after 9/11, Immigrant entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Overseas Filipinos and “Balikbayan” Journal, a visual diary of his occasional visit to his motherland, the Philippines. His commissioned coffee table book project “Jewels of Rio Tuba” is scheduled for publication before the end of 2012. Several of his images are now part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Rocamora co- founded Exposure Gallery in San Francisco with Pulitzer winner Kim Komenich.

Washed Out: A Solo Exhibition of Kiri Dalena

Washed Out, a solo exhibition of artist Kiri Dalena, opens at Finale Art File’s Tall Gallery on June 7, 2012, Thursday, at 6 pm. Running until the 30th of June with an artist talk on June 16 at 5.30 pm, the exhibition presents a video installation which focuses on the effect of typhoon Sendong in Iligan.

The videos in the exhibition consist of documentation taken by Dalena during the aftermath of Sendong. An installation of logs, three of thousands which had been washed out during the typhoon, provides a certain tangible presence of the event within the space.

The exhibition is curated by Clarissa Chikiamco and presented with the support of Canon Philippines. Finale Art File is at Warehouse 17, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati Metro Manila. It is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am-7 pm, and may be reached at or at (632) 813.2310. Visit
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