MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In the world of contemporary art, the Covid-19 pandemic forced gallerists and artists alike to think beyond the physical space of a gallery and the conception of artworks as objects. And even in its wake, we continue to experience and seek art in digital formats.
Enter Tarzeer, a gallery and creative production group based in Manila, which has recently spotlighted its digital arts platform and its growing collection of new Philippine photography, video, and other image-based works. Currently on view through its website, Tarzeer presents two projects that tell visual and personal stories from the artists. The projects on view also explore the artists’ varying craft and technique, materials and manipulations, and practices and progressions.
Christine Chung’s Gyopo reframes the process of grieving from one of distant isolation to an act of quiet reverence, bringing forth the sanctity of familial keepsakes and the cultural norms of loss.
Christine is a Korean-Filipino freelance photographer based in the Philippines. She is interested in exploring internal life through imagery and collaborations with subjects on personal experiences with identity. Her ongoing work is a response to grief, making sense of her own identity, and her relationship to the two cultures she was born into.
“I see my work as a confrontation of the reality inside and outside my world,” she shared. Led by intuition, Christine found new ways to process old grief in Gyopo: An amalgamation of archival photos, staged images, and found objects.
Blurring the lines between fact and fantasy, Lawrence Sumulong guides viewers through the dark funhouse that is his family’s hotel in Retrograde: A world of burning colors and stark imperfections.
Lawrence Sumulong is a Filipino-American Photographer with Casiguran Dumaget Heritage based in Brooklyn, New York. He creates work that studies both his inculcation into and resistance against various colonial systems of power. Sumulong deals mostly with personal documentary pieces, highlighting the tension between his two identities and studying how historical events shape both society and the self. He pairs his images with poetry, recruiting the words of others as a lens to further understand the narratives that surround him.
“I wanted to be true to my roots but I also wanted to be questioning what those roots are,” Lawrence shared. In this project, he entered a “free-flowing state of play” and invites fellow artists and viewers to step into the hallowed halls of his family’s hotel to explore narratives from both the past and future.
View both collections on Tarzeer’s website.