Traces • Jes Aznar, Poklong Anading, Raena Abella, Ringo Bunoan, Geloy Concepcion, Geric Cruz, Kiri Dalena, Tammy David, Carlo Gabuco, Wawi Navarroza, Benjamin Rasmussen, Lawrence Sumulong, Jake Verzosa, Veejay Villafranca, Jay Yao, Mm Yu

Jun 4 to Jun 27, 2015 • Tall Gallery

A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened. The picture may distort; but there is always a presumption that something exists, or did exist…

The woman who wrote these words had herself once existed. Emphasis on the past tense. Now the woman is no more. Or perhaps the woman had never really existed, and that her words are mere random strands of ink idealized into some semblance of meaning. Like maps and their coordinates, intersecting angles, and the possibility of them being illusory and temporal, as all maps are. Photographs give people an imaginary possession of a past that is unreal, said the same woman. Shutter. Geography, as a web of unmusical refrains of vanishing terrains, secret semaphores. Aging water tanks, demolished houses and evicted families, drowned bodies, aging transvestites, the tribal matron looking blankly into the lens, the panorama of the infinite — but all are one and the same in the eyes of the camera.

But all photographs are also maps. Every portrait is a landscape of fears, joys, desires, hopes, and frustrations. The eye, for instance is a muted repository of all these and more in their heightened degrees. Shutter. It has been said that no photograph is truly able to explain itself, unless the subject gazes into the camera, then it assumes the condition of music. Perhaps the transmission of messages is not the intent of pictures. In fact, another woman — herself a photographer of the maimed and the grotesque — also declared that a photograph is a secret of a secret, and that the more it communicates, the less one knows. Note: In 1971 this chronicler of the deformed killed her self.

When self-portraits become ubiquitous, what becomes of the portrait? Or more importantly, of photography as art? But the commonplace also has its aesthetic values, as the Chinese had always believed that one passes from boredom into fascination.

One day, all this surfeit of images will be nothing but one vast necropolis. The photograph lives on forever. Frozen moments. Shutter. The imperial majesty of forgetting.

It has also been said that the camera has replaced the gun. Then that makes assassins of all of us. But a wise man once said that an eye for an eye would make the world go blind. Aperture. But what if every photograph is always a new way of seeing? Click. Shutter. Words. Shadow of a hand stretching out of the water. The woman chose words. Let us repeat: the woman is gone. But it was the woman who wrote: in times when you have to choose between a photograph and a life, choose the photograph.

—Lourd de Veyra

Artworks from the Show

Underneath the Surface Series 1-4

Underneath the Surface Series 1-4, Raena Abella, 2013, Silver gelatin print on fiber based paper, (each), edition of 2

Untitled (private family)

Untitled (private family), Poklong Anading, 2013, Stainless steel and photo print, 35½×27.8 in

Testament Series 1-6

Testament Series 1-6, Jes Aznar, , Photo transfer on plaster, (each),


B(each) , Jes Aznar, , Photo transfer on plaster, 10×16 in

Twin Towers

Twin Towers, Ringo Bunoan, 2010, Digital print on tarpaulin, 126×114 in

Islands (set of 3)

Islands (set of 3), Ringo Bunoan, 2013, Archival inkjet print on paper, 12×20 in

Golden Gaze

Golden Gaze, Geloy Concepcion, 2014, Photograph, (each), edition of 3

Langit, Lupa, Impyerno

Langit, Lupa, Impyerno, Geric Cruz, 2015, C-print on Fuji Archival paper, edition of 5

Series of 3 works

Series of 3 works, Kiri Dalena, 2015, Inkjet on archival paper, edition of 3

Humans of Tacloban

Humans of Tacloban, Tammy David, 2013, Tarpaulin, 76×114 in

Water Under the Bridge Series 1-6

Water Under the Bridge Series 1-6, Carlo Gabuco, 2015, Duratrans in lightbox, water, acrylic sheets, fish, (each)


Ironic, Veejay Villafranca, 2014, Aluminum dibond print on galvanized iron sheets, 10×10 in each, edition of 3

Groundwork: Stripped Enamel Flooring, Artist's Studio, 8 years

Groundwork: Stripped Enamel Flooring, Artist's Studio, 8 years, Wawi Navarroza, 2015, Stripped enamel paint of artist's studio flooring, size variable

Series of 5 works

Series of 5 works, Benjamin Rasmussen, 2015, Inkjet print on Fuji crystal archival paper, edition of 5


untitled, Jake Verzosa, 2015, C-print on Hahnemuhle photo rag 310gsm, 16×24 in (each), edition of 10

Burying the Lead

Burying the Lead, Lawrence Sumulong, 2015, Wet plate collodion ambrotypes, 4×5 in

Burying the Lead (detail)

Burying the Lead (detail), Lawrence Sumulong, 2015, Wet plate collodion ambrotypes, 4×5 in

Homecoming: Gian Romano

Homecoming: Gian Romano, Jay Yao, 2015, Archival pigment print, (each), edition of 3

Homecoming: Gian Romano

Homecoming: Gian Romano, Jay Yao, 2015, Archival pigment print, (each), edition of 3


Absent, MM Yu, 2014, Video with selected print, edition of 3