Why do you take and create images?
Most often, I take photos as for my daily log. To capture people or events for rememberance. To make an attempt to actualize a vision or to create an illustration for an idea.
How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?
I basically take pictures of everything and anything. My Instagram account is a record of my boredom. When I see something beautiful, or even odd, or disgusting, bland, dark – I take a photo of it. But I like it most when there are elements in it that I can in/directly relate to a local myth or anything supernatural/spiritual, otherworldly. It is most exciting when the image comes as a surprise!
What motivates your work?
The idea that I can create something to believe in. To be able to tell a story.
What relationship does your work have with reality?
To question it.
For you, what is the purpose of art?
To be able to present to us what is possible.
How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
I just want people to look at it. What happens inside the mind of the viewer, we do not really have any control. I believe it’s all up to the piece really, even in finding its own audience.
What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?
In college I was trained to be a marketing strategist. Then I became an illustrator, and from there I believe I got to learn how to translate stories into different forms.
How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?
I want to believe in luck. But also, I cannot discredit all the work that happened from years past. Right now, I just want to experience living.
It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?
“Imagination and conflict are necessary to propel self-motivation.”
Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?
I do a lot of exhibitions, I get to learn a lot about my own practice as well as be informed of what other artists are doing. I guess it is one of those places where everyone can learn, but learning can be limited if the opportunity is not well utilized. Exhibitions here can involve a lot of art professionals by offering them jobs. I hope galleries and institutions can incorporate curators for their programing, dealers to help them transact acquisitions, provide training for handling artworks and setting up exhibitions. But then again, the problem with this will point to money.
In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?
My works does not focus on Photography, although it involves the medium in producing my works. There is a number of artists making efforts in making a discourse. At the moment, I think photography is an efficient tool and relevant considering the social climate we are experiencing now.
How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?
It’s more of contemporary practices than just photography, I hope artists can learn how to be more forceful with their own visions and ideas. What can we really expect with the current policies? We just have to use the power we have, in whatever ways we can.
Name: Zeus Bascon
Lives and works in Santa Rosa, Laguna (Philippines)
2004-2008 BS Commerce Major in Business Administration, University of Santo Tomas, España, Sampaloc, Manila
Awards and Recognition:
2018, Thirteen Artist Award, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd., Manila
2010, Alcala Prize Honorable Mention, Philippine Board on Books for Young, Quezon City
2017, MAGIC HOUR, Timog Coffee, San Antonio, Biñan, Laguna, Philippines
2016, HuwagMongHuyaginAngPunongWalangBunga, Pablo Gallery, The Fort, Taguig City, Philippines
2014, To be lost in this kind of wilderness (Is Eternal), Art Informal, Greenhills East, MandaluyongCity, Philippines
2014, The Cave, Koganecho Bazaar Artist in Residency Program, Koganecho, Yokohama City, Japan
2013,Ngayong Gabi AngUmaga, NgayongUmagaAng Gabi, Blanc Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines
2012, Trees Burn Down, Blanc Gallery, Makati, Philippines
Selected group exhibitions:
2017, EXTRACT / Film showing, Para:Site// Projects, Las Pinas City, Philippines
2017, A N G G U L O, Valdez Residence, Biñan, Laguna, Philippines
2016, The Philippine Contemporary: Directions, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines
2015, Razzle Dazzle, Artery Art Space, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
2015, You are here, Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery, Chino Roces Ave. Makati City, Philippines
2014, The Lizard Says You’re a Liar!, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
2014, Hand Job, Gallerie Anna, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2014, 420, Sigwada Gallery, San Andres Bukid, Manila, Philippines
2013, RUGBEES, Green Papaya Art Projects, Kamuning, Quezon City, Philippines