Why do you take and create images?
I communicate with images and symbols, it’s a way for me to say something. Things that I cannot express alone in words that has significance on how I see and experience the world. It’s a very organic and spontaneous process and thru these images it can create layers of interpretations and questions which is what I am searching for. It’s a form of exercise on things or ideas that I don’t know that can eventually make me understand or misunderstand the whole picture which is life.
How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?
My works revolves around chance encounters and the relationships I made with my surroundings, this can be the city I live in, family, friends, the internet, books that I read, random exchanges with different people, historical events, popular beliefs and cultures and its multiple representations. It can be personal and also social that is always evolving and interweaving. Everyday I experience and see things differently and I guess that is why my works are always changing may it be the subject or the medium- developing my own meaning and its possibilities. It’s the manifestation of my self and the connections to different situations.
What motivates your work?
I make art to know more about my self and its complex directions creating exchanges with day to day life. It is the impulse to say that I am here and I wanted to say something that can build abstract and flexible perceptions. I decided to make art and to be an artist because it can lead to something that I don’t know – to a direction that has no definite destination and that keeps me going.
What relationship does your work have with reality?
My works always cross with reality and I create projects that are very natural and fluid- the same as my everyday experiences. Since my work process is sourcing materials outside the studio I let the course go smoothly and not thinking of the concrete outcome. As much as possible I want my works to alter reality and come up with strange positions. The reality is already out there to be a resource for my work and as an artist I want that reality to transform into something that is to be presented as an open field and everyone is welcome to interpret.
For you, what is the purpose of art?
Art is a language and it’s a form of communication- a very powerful tool in expressing or showing your ideas. It can be very serious, humorous, dangerous, safe, etc. that can build or destroy our understanding. Not everyone can read the language of art and as an artist I try to communicate with my self to ask different questions. This questions can lead me to make a work that can be hopeful or doubtful on how I discern things.
How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
I want the audience to think on their own and to build their own perspectives when they see my works. I have my own ideas and viewpoints but I don’t want to impose what is to be felt or what is to be thought. Its up to the viewers to construct, reconstruct or even deconstruct meanings and feelings and hopefully produce different positions and negotiations.
What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?
I studied Advertising Arts. A very flexible course geared towards the advertising and marketing world. The course works primarily with images and how to communicate instantly. Though I did not pursue a career in advertising, most of my works played with images, objects and experiences creating a visual language of my own. In advertising, you are following the demand of a client for a particular buyer or market.
How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?
I have been practicing as an artist for almost 10 years now since my first solo show in CubaoX in 2006. I have learned and met a lot of people because of my practice. A lot of success and failures that makes me critical about my work in general. I am also raising a family and balancing my energy and time but this transition is very good because the flow of my work process also changes which shows in the outcome of each work adapting to different circumstances. I expect more of these changes and shifts that will benefit my thinking and art making.
It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?
Being an artist I cannot live off art. Its always part of my daily life—its always in my mind—it’s a way of life, a philosophy that I am still trying to adapt. Even though I am not making art, I think of it and relate it with the world. This also makes me more critical in different things. As Duchamp said, everything can be art, but not everything can be a good art.
Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?
Yes, working with art professionals build new layers of possibilities to your art and practice. It’s a way to create a discourse and how it is placed in different contexts—how it is presented, studied, valued etc. It is important to have these dynamics because this exchanges between the artists/artwork with curators, critics and other art professionals will develop the art history of a particular time.
In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?
It is exciting that contemporary photography is developing in terms of production and presenting the works. It is not only bound as a technical skill and because of the readily available and accessible technologies, we can create a lot of images in an instant. There have been shows dedicated to contemporary photography in Manila and this means that a wider appreciation of the medium and practice will further develop.
How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?
I want to see more exhibitions and discussions about contemporary photography in the Philippines and not only centered in Manila but also in other parts of the country.
Name: Mark Salvatus
Lives and works in Manila, Philippines
Education: 2003 Advertising Arts, University of Santo Tomas, Manila (cum laude)
Awards and Recognition:
2016 Asia Center Fellowship, Japan Foundation, Kyoto and Osaka
2014 IASPIS grant, Umea, Sweden
2012 Cultural Center of the Philippines 13 Artists Award
2012 Schoeni Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong
2010 Ateneo Art Awards, Philippines
2008 Arts Network Asia Grant (ANA) Bandung, Indonesia
2007 Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation (SPCC), Ministry of Culture of Spain residency grant, Can Serrat, Barcelona
Meet Me Halfway, 1335 Mabini, Manila (PH)
Notes from the New World, curated by Patrick D. Flores, Vargas Museum, Manila (PH)
Gates, curated by Nozomu Ogawa, Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo (JP)
Follow Your Eyes, 1335 Mabini, Manila (PH)
Latitudes, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila (PH)
Several Souvenirs, 1335 Mabini Zn, Manila (PH)
Maybe in Another Universe, curated by Kenneth Paranada, Museum Barengasse, , Zurich (CH)
World Cup, Artery Art Space, Quezon City (PH)
Territories, Ateneo Art Gallery, curated by Patrick Flores, Quezon City (PH)
Other View, The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, Manila (PH)*
C_RAFTS, Vargas Museum, curated by patrick Flores, Manila (PH)*
Secret Garden, La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre | VAC, Bendigo, Victoria (AU)
Attached, The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, Manila (PH)*
Court Yard, Pablo Gallery, Fort, Taguig (PH)
Good Morning Sickness, Nospace Gallery, Bangkok (TH)
Wrapped, Goyang Art Studio Gallery, Goyang, Seoul (KR)
Jumbled Sequence Connection, Cubicle Gallery, Pasig City (PH)
Eyes Wide Open, Pablo Gallery, Cubao Xpo, Quezon City (PH)
SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (JP)
2nd Kamias Triennale, Quezon City (PH)
Move on Asia 2017, Mobilized Representation, Alternative Space LOOP, Seoul (KR)
Mutable Truths- Perspectives on Philippine Contemporary Art Practice, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, Victoria (AU)
Field Trip, curated by Daisuke Takeya and Leonhard Bartolomeus, Gallery Edwin, Jakarta (ID)
Muhon, curated by Locsin Architects, Philippine Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice (IT)
TRANSAction, Sonsbeek 2016, curated by Ruangrupa, Arnhem (NL)
Will Nature Make A Man of Me Yet, curated by Kenneth Paranda, Pi Artworks, London (UK)
Blue Bird in the Labyrinth:
A Walk from Japanese Modern Art to Asian contemporary Art Scene, curated by Nobuo Takamori, Gallery Nichido, Taipei (TW)
Venture:Capital, 1335 Mabini, Manila (PH)
MIkke! Konohana!, Konohana, Osaka (JP)
Jakarta Biennale, Curated by Charles EscheCuratorial team: Irma Chantily, Anwar ‘Jimpe’ Rachman, Putra Hidayatullah, Asep Topan, Riksa Afiaty and Benny Wicaksono, (ID)
Video Spotlight: Philippines, curated by Michelle Yun, Asia Society, New York (US)
Field Trip, curated by Daisuke Takeya and Laya Boquiren, Vargas Museum, Manila (PH)
Dress Me Featherless, curated by Fiona Gavino, Northern Center for Contemporary Art, Darwin (AU)
South by Southeast, curated by Patrick Flores and Anca Verona Mihulet, Osage Foundation, Hong Kong (CN)
REROUTE: Resituating Site-Specific Works, curated by Dayang Yraola, Vargas Musem, Manila (PH)
The Other Home, curated by Viktoria Ilyushkina, Made in NY Media Center, New York (US)
The Way Out is Through, curated by Kenneth Paranada, Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center, New York (US)
Chain of Fire, Prologue Exhibition, Honolulu Biennial, curated by Koan Jeff Baysa and Isabella E. Hughes, Honolulu, Hawaii (US)
Survival Kit Festival,curated by Virkligheten, Umea (SE)
Generator, 6th Cairo Video Festival, curated by Mena Al Shazly, Geriza Art Center and Medrar, Cairo (EG)
Cyberfest, International Cyberarts Festival, curated by Viktoria Ilyushkina, Luda Gallery, St. Petersburg (RU)
Community and Territory, 5th Yeosu International Art Festival, curated by Sun-jung Kim, Chonnam Art Center, Chonnam (KR)
TRANS(IE)T, Project Glocal, curated by Dayang Yraola, Escolta, Manila (PH)
Drawn to Scale, curated by Patrick Flores, Vargas Museum, Manila (PH)
Censorship, Move on Asia, curated by Daewon Hwang, Alternative Space Loop, Seoul (KR)
Triumph of Philippine Art, curated by M Teresa Rodriguez, Ayala Museum, Manila (PH)
Triumph of Philippine Art, curated by M Teresa Rodriguez, Fisher Museum, University of Southern California (US)
The Disappearance, curated by Planting Rice, Center for Contemporary Art, Gillman Baracks (SG)
Powers that Be, Drawing Room, Gillman Barracks (SG)
Remote CNTRL (Media/Art Kitchen Lab) collaboration with Stephanie Syjuco, curated by Lian Ladia, web and 98B space, Manila (PH)
Triumph of Philippine Art, curated by M Teresa Rodriguez, George Segal Gallery, Montclair University, New Jersey (US)
A Futuristic City of the Past, Changwon Asian Art Festival, curated by Sonju Park, Sungsan Art Hall, Changwon (KR)
TRIP, Roppongi Art Night, curated by Nozomu Ogawa, director Hibino Katsuhiko, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo (JP)
The Philippine Contemporary: A Proposed History, curated by Patrick Flores, Metropolitan Museum of Manila (PH)
Masterpieces, curated by Iola Lenzi, Ayala Museum, Makati (PH)
Dezipcoding, curated by Dayang Yraola, Singapore Art Museum 8Q (SG)
Others, curated by Clarissa Chikiamco, Picasso, Makati (PH)
Populus, The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, Gillman Barracks (SG)
CCP 13 Artist Award exhibition, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippines, curated by Lena Cobangbang (PH)
Modes of Impact: Video Acquisitions from Ateneo Art Galley, curated by Clarissa Chikiamco, Quezon City (PH)
Cityzening, curated by Dayang Yraola, Vargas Museum, Quezon City (PH)
Short Memory, The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, Gillman Barracks (SG)
POST: Outlining Perspectives, curated by Sandra Palomar, Metropolitan Museum of Manila (PH)
Cosmopolitan Stranger, Hotel Inmigrantes, parallel event Manifesta 9, curated by Denise Carvalho, Hasselt (BE)
Habit Forming, Art Informal, curated by Dayang Yraola, Manila (PH)
Bliss Market,curated by Jay Pacena, Quezon City (PH)
Open House, 3rd Singapore Biennale, curated by Russel Storer and Trevor Smith, director Mathew Ngui, Singapore Art Museum (SG)
Back to the Basics – The Museum Per Se, 4th Guangzhou Triennial, curated by Luo Yiping, Yang Xiaoyan, Zhang Kexin, Zhang Yun, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (CN)
Maximum City: Survive or Escape, Jakarta Biennale XIV, guest curator: Eileen Legazpi-Ramirez Galeri Nasional, , Jakarta (ID)
Koganecho Bazaar, Voices of the Town, curated by Shingo Yamano, Yokohama (JP)
Beyond Conventions, Ford Foundation, New York (US)
Stories of Dreams and Realities, Rossi & Rossi in collaboration with The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, London (UK)
Vernacular Cultures & Contemporary Art in Australia, India and the Philippines, curated by Ryan Johnston, LUMA | La Trobe University Museum of Art, Melbourne (AU)
Nothing to Declare, Blanc Compound, curated by Karen Flores, Manila (PH)
Extensions: Zero-In, collaboration with Mervin Espina, Buen Calubayan and Lauren Villarama, curated by Eileen Legazpi-Ramirez, Lopez Museum, Manila (PH)
What is Gunsan to Tell?, Gunsan Art Studio, Gunsan (KR)
Boat and Bridge_Net, Space Beam, Incheon, (KR)
Shattering States, Ateneo Art Awards, Ateneo Art Gallery & Shangri-la Plaza, Manila (PH)
Structural Integrity, Next Wave Festival, curated by Jef Khan and Ulanda Blair, Arts House, Meat Market, Melbourne (AU)
The Vargas Collection, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Quezon City (PH)
Signos, Art Center, Megamall, curated by Slash/Art, Mandaluyong (PH)
Faith and Reason, Manila Contemporary, curated by Sidd Perez (PH)
Paper Panic, 20Square Slab, Makati (PH)
Smokescreen, Tin-aw Gallery, Makati (PH)
Asia Panic, curated by Suk-Won Chang, Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gwangju (KR)
Verso Manila, Verso Arte Contemporanea & The Drawing Room Turin (IT)
Spirit of Asia, Gallery Nine, Gwangju (KR)
Tutok: SoEna, Manila Contemporary Gallery, curated by Noel Soler Cuizon Manila (PH)
Forever and Ever and Ever and Ever, Valentine Willie Fine Art,Kuala Lumpur (MY)
X-Change, Centre Culturel et de Coopération Linguistique, curated by Atieq Listyowati, Surabaya (ID)
Current, Sungdu-an 5, curated by Irma Lacorte & Patrick Flores, National Art Gallery, National Museum, , Manila (PH)
Daloy: 40 years, curated by Claro Ramirez, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila (PH)
Open Day, different sites, Shatana (JO)*
Connecting Urban Spaces, Green Papaya Art Projects, Quezon City (PH)
Cartographical Lure, curated by Simon Soon, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (MY)
EXCEPT, curated by Sabrina Muzi, Sala Silentium” of Vicolo Bolognetti, Bolgna (IT)
Domestico ‘08, El Papel Del Artista, curated by Tania Pardo, Calatrava, Madird (ES)
Road:Rode, At The Vanishing Point (ATVP) Contemporary Art, Sydney (AU)
In Transition Russia, curated by Helene Black and Sheila Pinkel, National Centres of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg and Moscow (RU) *
2nd Bagasbas Beach International Eco Arts Festival, curated by Patrick Flores, Daet, Camarines Norte (PH)
Action Parties # 2, curated by Khai Hori, See Scape Art Hub / Wunderspaze, Chiang Mai (TH)
Boxed 3, curated by Jay Pacena, Cubicle Art Gallery, Pasig City (PH)
Tutok KKK, Blanc art space, Makati and Mandaluyong (PH)
Tutok Kargado, curated by Jose Tence-Ruiz Ateneo Art Gallery (PH) *
Roll Up, Grigore Mora Art Gallery, Bucharest (RO)
Festival Air International, Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia, Bandung (ID)
Urban Jealousy, 1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran, curated by Amirali Ghasemi (IR)
Tutok, curated by Noel Soler-Cuizon, National Art Gallery, Manila (PH)
6th Uiwang International Placard Arts Festival, Uiwang (SK) *
4th Neo-Angono Public Arts Festival, Angono, Rizal (PH)
Kasaysayang, curated by Noel Soler Cuizon, Alab Art Space, Manila (PH)
Chonbuk International Sculpture Exhibition, Chonbuk Art Gallery (SK) *
Open Studio 3, Goyang Art Studio, Seoul (SK) *
Ansan International Art Expo, Dan Won Museum, Ansan (SK)
Boxed 2, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila (PH)
Tutok Perspektiba, curated by Mideo Cruz, Beato Angelico Gallery University of Santo Tomas;
Faculty Center, University of the Philippines, Quezon City & Arnheim Gallery, St.Scholastica College, Manila (PH)
Langib, Beato Angelico Gallery UST, Manila (PH)
Dos por Dos, curated by Ferdinand Montemayor, Boston Gallery, Quezon City (PH)
Boxed, Big Sky Mind Gallery, New Manila, Quezon City (PH)
Pab Hauz, Pablo Gallery, Cubao X (PH)
Wallpaper*, works on paper, Big Sky Mind Gallery, New Manila, Quezon City
Rebolusyon:Ilusyon, Cubicle Gallery, Pasig City(PH)
Salvation, Corridor Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines
Re-representation, Beato Angelico Gallery, UST, Manila (PH)
Brushes with Words and Chords II, UST Museum, Manila (PH) *
Visions, GSIS Museum, Pasay City (PH) *