Noel Manalili


Why do you take and create images?

I am forever fascinated of how light transforms faces and architecture.

How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?

I am obsessed with portraits both in my commercial and personal work, but lately i have been into abstracting architecture.

What motivates your work?

Capturing the imperceptible

What relationship does your work have with reality?

Photography only interests me if it can bring me an alternative reality.

How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?

Ideally I would like my work to evoke an emotion or intrigue the public.

What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?

I was first trained to be a graphic and fashion designer. Later I was trained as a photographer as well, even though I started taking portraits in my teens.

Β How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?

I work as a professional photographer part time with a bread and butter job to be able to choose my jobs and live comfortably.

It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?

I do what I need to do so it doesn’t affect me or my work.

Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?

I have never felt comfortable selling my work through galleries and selling my work as art. The few experiences I’ve had with curators have been positive as they always have another insight of my work. I much prefer commissions and seeing my work published in books and magazines.

In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?

I’ve lived abroad most of my life so I’m not really au courant but i think galleries like Silverlens are doing a good job of promoting Filipino artists abroad.

How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?

It would be great if Filipino photographers can live off their work solely but that would mean that there should be more Filipino art collectors as well. Photo festivals could be great as well so that the public can be exposed to contemporary photography outside museum and gallery shows.


Name: Noel Manalili

Lives and works in Paris, France




Centre Iris, Paris, France, 2007

BFA in Graphic Design, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado USA, 1986



Group Exhibitions

2010, Simulated Alternate Realities, A1 space, Hong Kong

2010, PhotoCollection Centre Iris, Paris, France



Kinfolk, Vanity Fair (France), International New York Times, Harpers Bazaar (Brazil), Milk Decoration, Marie Claire (France), FWD, Air France Madame, Express Style, Icon (Switzerland), Annabelle, M le magazine du Monde, Grazia Homme, The Business of Fashion, CRFashionbook,