Pagbangon: Rising from the Ruins

The UP Visayas Chancellor’s Committee on Culture and the Arts in cooperation with UPV Sipat presents PAGBANGON: Rising from the Ruins, an exhibit of photographs by Manuel L. Librodo Jr. at the UPV Art Gallery. Pagbangon will showcase twenty photos, taken from different points in Librodo's decade-long photographic career, that reveal slivers of light -- rays of hope -- in dark places. Pagbangon is Librodo's and UPV's tribute to the spirit of the Filipino people that remains strong and resilient and continues to rise despite the adversities that they face.

The photographs included in Pagbangon reveal the artist's ability to find light (and hope) in any situation. The collection includes very tight portraits that evoke deep-seated emotions in the viewer which are carefully balanced with wide shots that celebrate the strength of the human spirit.

Librodo's photographs evoke the works of photography masters: Karsh's highly-charged confrontational portraits, Bresson's surrealism, and Avedon's sense of stark contrast. With most of the subjects in the photos seemingly drawn to a certain direction, mostly towards the direction of the light, it becomes apparent that light is Librodo's leitmotif.

Librodo is an alumnus of UP Visayas and is exhibiting his works at the UPV Art Gallery for the first time. He taught in Bangkok for several years before discovering that his real passion is photography. Since then, many of his photos have appeared in a number of publications including Asian Geographic and UNICEF; he has been invited to speak and judge in several international photography conferences and competitions alongside famous photography personalities such as National Geographic's Michael Yamashita and Steve McCurry; and his photography workshops have been best-sellers since he started doing them in 2007.

The photos from Pagbangon will be put on auction. Bidders may place their bids with the staff at the UPV Art Gallery starting on the opening day of the exhibit. The proceeds from the artworks will be donated by Mr. Librodo to UPV for the benefit of UPV students who were heavily affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

Mr. Emmanuel Lerona, UPV Instructor, is the curator for Pagbangon which will be on view from January 22 through February 14, 2014 in line with the UP Visayas activities for February Arts Month 2014. UPV Art Gallery is at the UP Visayas Iloilo City campus. For more information, contact (033) 3379159. (Source: Emmanuel Lerona)

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