Alike in many ways. Fine Arts professors, photography enthusiasts and former Varsitarian artists Anlex Basilio (left) and Meo Remalante applaud one another after successcully holding their twin-bill exhibit.LENSMEN Meo Remalante and Anlex Basilio, former Varsitarian artists and alumni of the former College of Fine Arts and Architecture (CAFA), combined photographic mastery and passion for nature in the photo exhibit “2×2: an Exhibit on Contemporary Digital Photography,” unveiled last August 26 to 30 at the Beato Angelico Gallery.

Remalante’s Northern Light series and Basilio’s O Oleiro Pelo Mar— all of 67 frames—captured mainly the picturesque Ilocos region and Bataan province.

Remalante’s Northern Light captured the serenity of the Northern Luzon countryside. His 36 shots feature the “peculiar kind of lighting the North has,” the photographer said.

Shots of sunrise and sunset occurring in different locations were given a refreshing make-over by Remalante in “Golden Morning” and “Sunset Promenaders.”

Most notable was “Christie’s Eye,” which shows a glass window serving as a frame to a relaxing view of sunset occurring over a calm body of water.

“I see things which are common fixture, but I give a new dimension to it,” Remalante told the Varsitarian.

Vast water bodies were also given a new twist in “Early Bird Catches the Fish,” which used the reflection of the sunlight bouncing on the water surface to effectively catch the eye of the viewer.

Remalante also gave his own interpretation of tourist attractions, Corregidor and the Banaue Rice Terraces, in the photos “Rocks of Corregidor” and “Banaue Wonder,” which rendered the unique radiance of each panorama.

It took him two and a half years to complete his collection, which he confessed was created after an eye-opening trip to Ilocos with his College of Fine Arts and Design students.

Why your diploma may be useless

“When I saw my students’ passion in taking photographs, I was touched and found that my own passion for photography was rekindled,” he said.

He then decided to go back to Ilocos armed with his trusted camera, and took shots that comprise his masterpiece.

“(With these photos,) I intend to reawaken one’s eye so that one can see and look at common things differently,” Remalante said.

A potter’s life

Meanwhile, Basilio’s collection is formed together by a narrative.

Drawing inspiration from a potter he saw in Ilocos, Basilio worked on O Oleiro Pelo Mar, which focused on a potter whose livelihood heavily depends on the seashore’s nurtured clay, which he uses in crafting vases and pots.

“I read that potters are drawn to the sea because of the special clay that is found near the sea,” Basilio said.

Among the 31 images in his collection, “Potter” is the most representative of his collection. In the photo, a man is shown shaping the clay to its form using his bare hands.

“God’s Choice” shows finished pottery products bathed in light, which comes from a hole bored on the roof where pots are dried.

Not all is about the potter’s art. “The Garden Within” showed the back of the UST Main Building with its unique architecture.

Although Basilio’s pictures mostly illustrated the beauty of pottery, he also portrayed the bitter reality of pottery as art.

“Hora de Oro” and “Salva Vida,” for example, show the potter’s dependence on the sea and its resources for his and his family’s sustenance.

“The reality is a potter may love his art, but he cannot actually make a living out of it,” Basilio said. “Since his art cannot sustain him, the potter in turn engages in a job to sustain his art.”

Dream jobs and encores


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