OLD MAGIC: A Foto Baryo Group Exhibit of Polaroid Manipulated Photographs

One Workshop Gallery, Ground Floor 2241 La Fuerza Plaza II, 
Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Sabio St., Makati City
October 07 to November 07, 2008

Maverick photography group Foto Baryo works their unique brand of “Old Magic,” an exhibition of rare Polaroid photos at One Workshop Gallery. Opening on October 7, 2008, “Old Magic” features a collection of photographs taken with a vintage Polaroid SX-70. Photographers then manipulated each photograph manually using techniques such as tracing with a plastic fork.

No longer manufactured today, the Polaroid camera used for “Old Magic” is owned by Foto Baryo founder Fernando Afable. Apart from producing his own photographs for the exhibition, Afable shared his beloved camera and Polaroid manipulation techniques with close friends and Foto Baryo volunteers Amor Rodriguez, Cres Yulo, Pinky Urmaza, Tommy Hafalla and Vixienne Cululut.

With Afable's injunction to “Go out, shoot and enjoy,” these photographers went out to take Polaroid pictures of personal significance, while having fun during every step of the point-and-shoot and scratch-the-surface process. As Rodriguez put it, “I was like a kid with a new toy and I lugged the thing everywhere I went.” Yulo likewise felt “like a child on a “secret mission”—to find a subject matter interesting enough to shoot, and to change it into a whole new image.”

For Urmaza, the photos at “Old Magic” are her “records of trips, both near and far; some are journeys inward, as I discovered more about myself in each shape and colour I have scratched and traced.” For his part, Hafalla sees Polaroids as a method that “gave me a chance to express my frustration to be a painter...I started creating my own painting through a lens... with just a few pieces (that) fulfilled my long-forgotten dream to paint with light.” Cululut, who describes Polaroid manipulation as “giving the picture a Van Gogh-ish look with the use of a stylus,” says her pictures “bear a myriad of emotions, foremost of which is the spirit of generosity shown by friends.”

As the brainchild of Fernando Afable, Foto Baryo is the result of the dreams and the life's work of a man who worked his way up from humble origins in Tanauan to become Darkroom Manager of the prestigious International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York City. Wishing to nurture a Filipino version of the ICP back home, Afable founded Foto Baryo in order to raise local awareness of the beauty of photography. From the first year of its inception, Foto Baryo has spread the word to over a hundred photo enthusiasts around the country. Since its first landmark exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), One Workshop Gallery has always supported Foto Baryo and Afable's vision of a community sharing ideas, knowledge, art and culture.

“Old Magic” by Foto Baryo runs until November 7, 2008 at the One Workshop Gallery, Ground Floor 2241 La Fuerza Plaza II, Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Sabio St., Makati City. Gallery hours are from 10am to 7pm daily except Sundays. For inquiries, call or fax 819-2074, e-mail inquiry@owg.cc  one_workshop@yahoo.com, or visit One Workshop Gallery.
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