‘Encounters’ by Emmanuel Lerona
The UP Visayas Chancellor’s Committee for Culture and the Arts presents ENCOUNTERS, an exhibit of photographs by Emmanuel Lerona at the UPV Art Gallery. Encounters presents 40 portraits of rural folk that Lerona accidentally met in domestic travels spurred by his desire to document vanishing scenes and practices of his childhood especially those peculiar to his native Panay Island.
Tight shots that hint at the emotional, mental or psychical states of the subjects as well as wide shots that contextualize them make up the collection that signals Lerona’s debut as a photo artist.
Lerona’s photographs draw documentary inspiration from the famed father of Philippine photography, Eduardo Masferre but with a Lacanian spike as Lerona privileges his subjects’ visual potential highlighting their gaze, a characteristic of most images taken by, among other photographers, Walker Evans during the Great Depression like in his iconic Annie Mae Gudger (Sharecropper’s Wife). The collection, at once, reveals how much Lerona has achieved his prime documentary objective to recoup and frame for posterity his childhood memories and how he has been pleasantly jolted by his discovery of his, as well as his subjects’, humanity and humanness in their photographic eyeballs.
Lerona, an Instructor at the Division of Humanities, UP Visayas Miag-ao, seriously took up photography in 2009 and had trained with international photographer Manny Librodo who is also an Ilonggo and a UPV alumnus. Artist and UPV professor Martin Genodepa curates Encounters which will be on view from August 27 through September 16, 2013. UPV Art Gallery is at the UP Visayas Iloilo City campus. For information, contact (033) 3379159. (PR)