Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Through Australian Eyes

Next Tuesday (March 4) evening at 7pm will see the opening of my first Philippine exhibition. Sixteen of my photographs will be on display at the One Workshop Gallery until the 4th of April.

Fourteen of the works were shown last September at the Australian National University’s Photospace Gallery and an extra 2 works have been added for the Philippine exhibition.

"Easter Shrine I"

"Filipino Dreaming"

Document my last 3 years of living in the Philippines these works concentrate on my experiences and understanding of shopping, religion and the provinces of my adopted country. These are areas that stand out for me as they contrast most markedly with my Australian experiences.

Shopping is a social event here. Even when they have nothing to buy, Filipinos still go shopping; it’s called “malling”. True people hang out at malls in Aus but not to the same extent, here it should be considered a national sport. If “malling” were an Olympic event the Philippines would take home gold, silver and bronze.

Religion in Australia is a much more private affair. When you see someone in public cross themselves in Aus it is a last act of contrition before meeting their maker. Here you can be quietly riding in a jeep when all of a sudden your fellow passengers start to cross themselves. OMG what calamity is about to befall us, Oh we’re passing a church.

In the provinces you become acutely aware of your foreign status. Less English is spoken and my Tagalog is at best “konti lang” and you become an object of curiosity. Kids peeking out at you from behind their mother’s skirts would be disarming if it weren’t so damn cute.

If you have some free time and are in the area next Tuesday evening drop by and say “Hi”.


Revad said...

Henry, good to see some of your work on the front page again. You have been writing such a lot recently the art had slipped away.

Good luck with the exhibition and may it produce many sales of your excellent art.

the expat/pissedpoet said...

Thanks Dave, your positive thoughts are muchly appreciated.