Issue of September 10, 2017
Mt. Province

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Kidlat de Guia’s hand-woven photos on exhibit at Café Dua
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Photographs taken and manually woven are on display in the art gallery of Cafe by the Ruins Dua from Sept. 5 to Oct. 27.

At least 20 of the hand-woven works by filmmaker and photo artist Kidlat de Guia, son of award-winning filmmaker and Baguio’s own Kidlat Tahimik, give viewers an optical illusion of images, allowing one to see a picture from a close view and another image from a distance, creating a unique art of showing still shots.

De Guia said his photography allows him to use bare hands in making photos, a physical process that has been taken away by digital photography.

“It’s a way to take photos to another level, as I kind of miss working in the dark room where you work with your hands when you develop photos. In digital, you do a file and it comes out. In what I do, you bring the digital back into the realm of craft weaving,” de Guia said.

Aptly dubbed, “Araw araw, habi habi,” de Guia’s exhibit pays tribute to weaving, or pagbabanig or paghahabi, as he experiments on still shots of memories by choosing two photos with two different meanings and hand-weave them together.

According to the artist’s written account, De Guia in 2008 started experimenting with mixing photography and weaving for a group show with his brothers at the original Café by the Ruins. He began developing photos in his dark room on woven photo paper and in later experiments cut and wove the photos themselves.

As a kid who grew up using film, he felt that digital photography took something away from the physical process of making photos – developing in the dark room, dodging and burning, hanging the wet prints to dry. Weaving his photographs together was an attempt to bring back the tactile feel of the art.

The photos he chooses to weave are taken from his travels, from his work as a documentary filmmaker.

In weaving memories together, he plays with the idea that the ways in which viewers remember can be fragmented and unpredictable.

“The weaving patterns make us question the way we recall and retell our stories, what we choose to hide or reveal. And sometimes the weave teases out a ghostly image that suddenly brings to the light what was hiding in plain sight,” De Guia said of his work.

Celestina Arvisu, Cafe by the Ruins Dua events manager, said de Guia’s exhibit is the latest of Cafe Dua’s featured events, which are now done every two months to provide featured works a longer duration of exposure at the café gallery.

She invites the public to visit the resto’s Facebook page, Café by the Ruins, to check more of de Guia’s works and more information on the café’s offerings and events.

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