The UP Vargas Museum opens Life’s Arcade: QUIAPO, a photography exhibit by Rick Rocamora on November 12, Tuesday, 4PM at the 3F galleries of the museum.
Quiapo is one of the favorite subjects of street photographers as the intersecting streets give rise to interesting anecdotes and images for the lenses to capture. It is also the site of the annual celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene where people gather and carry out their religious rituals sustained by passion and faith. Rocamora explores the lives of the Quiapo residents, looking into their everyday activities, personal struggles and anxieties. He initially started documenting Paterno Street where the inspiring story of Rodallie Mosende unraveled. Mosende has lived homeless on Paterno Street, living with everyday subsistence and the challenge of finishing her education. Another subject is Veronica Rodillas, a sampaguita garland vendor who faces harsh realities of living in Manila at a young age. These are portraits of the few who represent the community of Quiapo, which is not pictured as a squalid environment, but a network of strong-hearted individuals who work hard to better their lot. On the part of Rocamora, his photographs are not static documents; they are vehicle in uplifting the lives of these people. By posting them on social media and other online sources, Rocamora gathers benefactors who help change the lives of these people.
Rick Rocamora is a multi-awarded photographer now based in United States of America. His images and picture stories received awards from the Asian American Journalist Association, SF Bay Area Press Photographers Association, New California Media, and Media Alliance and have been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times and other national and international print and online publications.
His works have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, Center for Photographic Arts, Museum of Photographic Arts, Gorman Museum, Oakland Museum among others. His photographs are part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was the principal photographer for “Pork and Perks – Corruption and Governance in the Philippines,” by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, a National Book Award winner in the Philippines in 1994.
His current projects include “Clogged Veins of Justice in the Philippines” and “iLife San Francisco.” The latter documents San Francisco at street level 40 years after he arrived as an immigrant from the Philippines using an iPhone and Hipstamatic app.
Life’s Arcade: Quiapo runs until December 3, 2013. There will be an artist talk on November 23 at 3:00PM.