The Silverlens Gallery, one of the Philippines’s only galleries dedicated to showcasing photography as an art form, was tucked in the farthest side of Pasong Tamo Extension, away from the droves of masses daily plying the malls. It did not stand out, barely did it register beside the automotive stores lining alongside it. Only those who set out to look for it ever really find it.
As I entered, glass doors closed behind me, dampening the ceaseless pedestrian noise outside. Its white walls were immaculate, bearing only photographs and these words along one corner, “How and why we do things, must be inextricable from each other… So are the way we see and how we feel,” perhaps explaining how a photograph can also elevate itself into an art form by becoming a means of self-expression.
While a stereotypical artist wields paintbrushes or chisels, Filipinos rarely give a second thought to the camera. “Photography is self-evident [which] may make it seem incredibly easy, “ explains gallery owner Isa Lorenzo, shedding light to this misconception.
Photography’s seeming ease diminishes its bid beside other art forms, but this should not be the case. “[There is] so much thinking going on [in the process] because of so many constraints,” Isa defends. What is my message? How will I frame my picture? How can I best convey the message? These and many other questions also run through a photo-based artist’s mind.
By becoming a conduit for an artist’s inner life, photography earns its place as a true art form. The task now is to enlighten others and to guide the neophyte Philippine art photography industry into maturity.
This is what the Silverlens Gallery hopes to do – through continuing exhibitions, artist talks, and workshops, the Gallery invites viewers to look beneath the surface of photography and peer into the soul of the photographer.
Visit the Silverlens Gallery:
Address: 2/F YMC Bldg. 2, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Yupangco Bldg., Makati.
Directions: Go Southbound on EDSA, keep going towards Magallanes. Do not take the flyover going to NAIA or Alabang. Take the rightmost road, which will lead you to Pasong Tamo Extension.
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 10am–7 pm, Saturday 1–6pm
Telephone number: 816-0044