Why do you take and create images?
Photographic images are one of the many types of media that I use to make my art.
How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?
My works explore “the everyday” – the banal and the mundane, as well as “the extraordinary, the surreal, the surprising, and the magical”. I often use a compact camera to immediately capture my surroundings, activities, and experiences. Most of the things that I capture focus on activities at home, changes caused by urbanization, and remnants and memories of what once was.
What motivates your work?
Being able to create something, and the challenge of being able to communicate an idea via an artwork.
What relationship does your work have with reality?
Since my subject matter for my works is “the everyday”, its relationship with reality is an automatic one. From the twentieth century, the everyday has been established as “the sole surviving common-sense point of reference. It is the most universal and most unique condition, the most social and the most individuated, the most obvious and the best hidden” (to borrow the words of sociologist Lefebre).
For you, what is the purpose of art?
Art, for me, is a form of language, some sort of communication or expression of how one views things.
How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
The viewer has the prerogative to feel (or not feel) however he wants towards my works. I do not try to control or anticipate how people will respond to my works. I only wish that they would be open enough and try to understand what I am attempting to communicate.
I do not have a particular audience in mind. In fact, I get very varied responses from different types of people and I learn a lot from them.
What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?
I am an amateur photographer and have no formal training in photography. I often use a compact camera when shooting outside my home, as it is easier to bring around and use. But I also use other devices to capture and create images, like an instax camera and printer.
How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?
I am a full-time artist and a part-time gallery assistant. Right now, I am still trying to get the hang of “adulting” and figuring out how to balance everything that is happening career-wise. I am a bit nervous yet excited with what the future holds. I expect continual learning, development, discoveries, and surprises in my art practice.
It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?
I do not expect a regular income from my art. I do not earn a lot as a part-time gallery assistant, but this does not limit my art production. It teaches me to be resourceful. Supportive family, peers, former professors, and artists who came before me motivate me to continue pursuing this passion.
Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?
Yes, I have worked with different types of art professionals. I especially enjoy working with artist-curators. Each artist-curator has a different approach to curating a show and I learn much from them. I have had very varied experiences working with people in the art scene. They are valuable and interesting experiences—most are enjoyable and some unpleasant. I also discovered, while working with art professionals, that maintaining a friendly and professional relationship with them is very important.
While I was a student, I interned for more than a year with the Ateneo Art Gallery, which is also a museum. Currently, I work as a part-time gallery assistant at West Gallery. I got to see how a museum and a gallery work. It gave me different perspectives of the art world.
In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?
I think that contemporary photography in the Philippines is expanding and evolving. Photography is also becoming more practicable now that there is a variety of devices that one can use to capture and create images. Because of digital technology, photography has become the turf of even the amateur photographer, which I think, for artists like me, opens more possibilities and opportunities for experimentation in art production.
How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?
I wish that artists in the Philippines would utilize photography more and more in their art production. I also hope that a wider audience would become better able to understand and appreciate Philippine contemporary photography.
Name: Nicole Tee
Lives in Quezon City, Philippines
2011-2016 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Painting, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Awards and Recognition:
2017 Ateneo Art Awards, Shortlisted, (Ateneo Art Gallery)
2016 Department of Studio Arts Outstanding Thesis Awardee, (College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, Diliman)
Cut From The Same Cloth, Underground, Makati City, Philippines
Parsed, two-man show with Gale Encarnacion, Underground, Makati City, Philippines
MO_Space X: Over Photography, curated by Ringo Bunoan, MO_Space, Taguig City, Philippines
Drop Off Point, Gallery Orange, Bacolod City, Philippines
Odds & Ends, Vinyl on Vinyl, Makati City, Philippines
Per Square Inch, curated by Leo Abaya, The Drawing Room Contemporary, Makati City, Philippines
New Works for The Mona Lisa Project, West Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines
D, curated by Gary-Ross Pastrana, Vinyl on Vinyl, Makati City, Philippines
other things in the world, curated by Nilo Ilarde, Artinformal, Mandaluyong City , Philippines
Art Fair Philippines 2017, West Gallery, The Link, Makati City, Philippines
so let’s sink another drink ‘cause it’ll give me time to think, Underground, Makati City, Philippines
Maximus x Tin-aw : Basecamp, Maximus Athlete’s Shop Café, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Ghosting, curated by Ling Quisumbing Ramilo, West Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines
8 Questions, Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City
Smalls, Underground, Makati City, Philippines
Time Lapse Beta: An evolving exhibition of small works, Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City, Philippines
“Quiet Punctuations,” Department of Studio Arts Degree Show 2016, Albert Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
UPCFA Annual Students Exhibit 2016, Corredor Gallery, College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
9×12, Art Fair Philippines 2016, West Gallery, The Link, Makati City, Philippines
Paperviews15: Rapid Cycling, Project Space Pilipinas, Lucban, Philippines
Time Lapse: An Evolving Exhibition of Small Works by over 50 Artists, Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City
You Are Here, Vinyl on Vinyl, Makati City, Philippines
Manufacturer’s Advice: Content May Vary, Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City, Philippines
Manufacturer’s Advice: Content May Vary, Art Fair Philippines 2015, Tin-aw Art Gallery, The Link, Makati City, Philippines
Book Ends, Blanc Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines
None of the Above, Blanc Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines
8 Minutes, S[H]IFT Project Art Space, Moderne Culinaire Academy, Taguig City, Philippines
Meditations and Musings, curated by Ling Quisumbing Ramilo, West Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines
UPCFA Annual Students Exhibit, Corredor Gallery, College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Eyes of Gauze: The Trails and Mists of Santiago Bose’s Vision, Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City, Philippines
Air in Motion, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Boses: After 10 Years, Corredor Gallery, College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Crate Plate, Sculpture Garden, College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines