Why do you take and create images? (so it can work with people who directly take photographs and others who do photographic collages)
It started out as being part of our college curriculum. What got me hooked was the technicality of it—the buttons, dials, numbers and stuff. I mainly take photographs as a means of exploration.
How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?
My photographic practice mainly revolves around exploration of techniques.
I enjoy looking for and exploring photographic techniques that are unusual and my subjects are dictated by the technique i’m using.
What motivates your work?
What relationship does your work have with reality?
It twists it in a way. For example, my kite aerial photography work create images from an odd angle and derives a certain reaction from its subjects
then my kaleidoscopic photography work distorts and frames the world in a different way compared to most photographs.
For you, what is the purpose of art?
To feel good, that’s why I hate cathartic art. For me, art is a form of head massage for the creator and hopefully for the viewer too.
How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
Personally, I try to go for a wow factor, a form of disbelief and I want them to ask me questions. It’s not a lot about the meaning but more about the process. Before at university, my audience were the professors simply because they were the judge of my work. Nowadays, I consider the opinion of artists and art people I respect when presenting my work.
What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?
I was a fine arts major in advertising. We had two semesters of photography. I also took a couple of photography classes, workshops, apprenticeships, and commercial work.
How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?
Right now, I am mainly the artist assistant of Mark Salvatus. I do copywriting to earn money. I work with 98b at times then at another art space in Marikina called Dito: Bahay ng Sining.
I am working towards building my own practice as a copywriter and building a persona as an artist, which may not necessarily be focused on photographic work.
It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?
Very much so. Right out of college I tried to make a living as a full-time artist and I think i joyfully failed at that. Right now, i am slowly accepting the fact that I must do something else to earn money but still the romantic idea of living off from art in a way that doesn’t look improverished is there.
Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?
I mostly worked with alternative spaces. 98b hosting 3 of my “exhibitions” at present and then Dito: Bahay ng Sining hosting my performance work and a whole lot of art bazaars. I don’t know but I happen to enjoy being direct to the market and as a advertising major the idea of showing my work at a commercial gallery is kind of alien to me.
In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?
There are a couple of young ones going into it. Thousandfold is kind of trying to lead the scene. There have been some shows focused on it and even some group shows.
How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?
It would be wonderful if there would be more discussions and get together among artists working with photography to have more group shows – solo shows are a hell expensive to put up then eventually solo shows are
a healthy market for photographic work would be awesome too but i think we need more people to be interested in it. Not just more artists but curators, writers, organizers.
Name: Gerome Soriano
Location: Lives and works in Manila, Philippines
2007-2012, College of Fine Arts and Design, Major in Advertising. University of Santo Tomas
Awards and Recognition:
- 2012 Best Thesis Awardee, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
- 2012 Most Appreciated Portfolio for the Photography Category, Behance panelled by Veejay Villafranca, 98-b Collaboratory, Manila, Philippines
- 2016 ESC: I Love You Virus exhibition, organized in collaboration with Miguel Inumberable, 98b Collaboratory, Manila, Philippines
- 2014 Windy Conversations: Between Cameras and Kites installation, 98b ESC Projects, Manila, Philippines
- 2014 98b ESC Projects in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
- 2012 Push It: Outstanding Thesis Exhibit 2012, Beato Angelico Gallery, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines