Vask is exhibiting Jay Yao’s (José Campos III) solo exhibit, “Homecoming,” featuring 14 large-scale photographs taken on location in Cavite and Kalibo, Aklan.
Combining Yao’s experiences in fashion and landscape photography, the exhibition is a collaborative project that shares the significance of “home” for two well-known Filipino fashion designers: Joey Samson and Leslie Mobo.
Yao visited their provinces and selected, with the help of the designers, locals and family members to model Samson and Mobo’s couture collections in settings that had particular emotional relevance to each.
Working with stylist Noel Manapat and makeup artist Xeng Zulueta, Yao came up with photographs that are visually luxurious, and at times humorous, studies of one’s connection to people and home through the familiarity and subversion of fashion photography.
Although the garments themselves carry the distinct aesthetic style of each designer, their meanings shift when they are worn by real people of all ages, sometimes going about their daily lives, or dramatically staged against a mangrove or local church.
Perhaps the most compelling are images of those closest to the designers, such as Samson’s mother, that celebrates the beauty of age and the importance of family when pursuing one’s dreams.
Romantic and sometimes verging on the absurd, each photograph is therefore, as much a portrait of the designers themselves as it is a revelation of the landscapes and spaces of their youth.
As a photographer, Yao has a keen appreciation of space and place, of how we locate ourselves in the world around us. He is a constant traveler and person of many “homes.” The exhibition is particularly timely due to his recent return to the Philippines from New York.
This sense of “homecoming” after pursuing his career abroad subconsciously adds to the project’s meditation on personal identity through past and present experiences.
“Homecoming” is an extension of photographic works included in the group exhibition “Joey Samson X” earlier this year to celebrate the designer’s 10-year career. It is now an ongoing series.
Vask is at 5/F, Clipp Center, 39th Ave. and 11th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.