Why do you take and create images?
I’m not sure as to why yet. It has definitely turned from something that I’ve been doing for fun to something that I want to focus on though.
How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?
At the moment I couldn’t really pinpoint what it is that defines my work. I try to make a habit out of carrying a camera in my bag at all times, so most of the subjects I’ve shot are of my friends hanging out, or random things that catch my eye.
What motivates your work?
I dropped out of school because I wanted to take photos, and everyday since I dropped out that’s what I’ve been trying to do. It’s been tough ‘cause sometimes I’d shoot like 10 rolls and not a single shot would satisfy me, and then I start doubting if this is really what I want to do.
What relationship does your work have with reality?
I really don’t know.
For you, what is the purpose of art?
Inspiration. Motivates me to do shit.
How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
Haven’t explored that part of my work yet. I’d leave it all up to them to think whatever it is that they think it is. It’s weird talking about audiences ‘cause we have Instagram as a platform to show our work. I definitely don’t have a specific audience in mind, but it’s kind of hard for me to back that up because you’ve got a bunch of people liking or ignoring your photo, so I’m definitely catering to an audience in a way.
What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?
My dad gave me my first camera when I was 14, it was a pink lomography camera with a fisheye lens. I started bringing it to school and was taking photos of my friends, so it all started from that. Was never trained but I did study film photography in year 12 so I learned how to develop black & white negatives.
How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?
It’s really hard because I’d have friends who would want me to take photos of their clothing brand or whatever, and they’d be happy to pay but I don’t want them to because accepting money just adds more pressure for me, and I’d tend to overthink the shoot too much. So someday I hope I’d have the confidence to deliver good photos.
It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you work?
It’s definitely hard. I have friends who work shitty part time jobs just to support their own creative pursuits, and at the same time have enough money to survive each week, myself included. The fact that it’s hard to live off whatever it is that we are passionate about motivates me to do better.
Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?
Yes, I have. I was part of a group show a couple of months ago and it was my first time working closely with a team of people who made everything we planned a reality. It’s really important to be accepting of what they have to say about your work, good communication is key.
In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?
There’s a lot of referencing from western photographers. It’s cool though, seeing how these photographers find a way to make it their own.
How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?
I hope that galleries would be more open to support photographers, just as much as they do with painters, sculptors, etc. I think there’s been a lot of looking down towards photography as an art form because most people tend to trivialize the process.
Name: Krei Manzo
Location: Canberra, Australia
Fashion Design – Canberra Institute of Technology
2017, Sooner or Later, Paderna Art Space, Bacolod City, Philippines
2016, Kings, Lull Gallery, Canberra, Australia