A project by Jomar Tingson (the Philippines)
Recipient of the Objectifs Documentary Award 2022, Emerging Category
Mentored by Muhammad Fadli
Courtyard Space, Objectifs
31 Mar to 7 May 2023
Exhibition Opening: 30 Mar 2023, 12pm – 9pm
Artist Talk with Jomar Tingson and Muhammad Fadli | 1 Apr 2023, 4.30pm – 5.30pm
RSVP here: docuaward-palaboy.peatix.com
Since April 2022, photographer Jomar Tingson has been photographing communities in Paete, Laguna, in the Philippines. Initially drawn to the performances of The Centurion Original, a local theatre group that performs the dramatization of the Passion of Christ each year during Holy Week, Tingson soon began expanding the scope of his project to include wider aspects of the town’s spiritual and religious beliefs.
Paete is derived from paet, the Tagalog name for chisel, which points to the town’s reputation as the woodcarving capital of the Philippines. Catholic wooden statues from Paete grace churches and museums across the country, a testament to the skill of its craftsmen, and the town’s devotion to spirituality and religion. Expressions of faith in Paete frequently meld local folklore with Catholicism; these practices are reflective of the complex histories, identities and cultures that influence the often syncretic nature of religiosity across the country.
Tingson’s exploration of the tension between modernity and tradition, colonialism and native identity, speak to his own journey in coming to terms with family lore, personal histories and identity. It is an exercise of faith and curiosity; a reconciliation of past and present, wonder and devotion.