The 2016 En Foco Photography Fellowship

The En Foco Photography Fellowship awards artists a $1,000 honorarium to support new or existing work. The fellowships culminate in a group exhibition and the subject of a Nueva Luz issue.

En Foco presents Nueva Luz Foto Legacies Fellowships I curated by Leenda Bonilla, Curator and Interdisciplinary Artist. This exhibition includes photographs by five photographers at various points in their photography careers, Anthony Hamboussi, Adeline Lulo, Tommy Kha, Danny R. Peralta, and Lawrence Sumulong. The works on view are diverse with expansive concepts and technical processes, yet each body of work reflects on themes that is relatable- family, pollution, politics, housing, heritage, and exploration of self. In all, the five photographers exhibiting work that speaks of the “global and local”: Each body of work provokes the viewer to engage from wanting to re-write history interrupting traditional dialogues in order to show a perspective closer to that lived by people.

 

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Anthony Hamboussi‘s series Cairo Ring Road is a photographic survey which explores questions of public policy, environmental neglect, heritage, and issues of social justice in Egypt. The work is an archive of an ongoing social, economic, environmental, and housing crisis in the years leading to and beyond the January 25th Revolution of 2011. His work resonates with cities that are undergoing economic shifts and gentrification.

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Tommy Kha’s work Entre Chien et Loup series, interesting process of portraiture involves  Google Reverse Image Search. Each “set” of images result from a process of self-portraits that entails . These resulting photographs of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, to me, remain “self-portraits.” In between these “visually similar images” are cutouts from images, primarily drawing from my own archive and physically cutting them out from prints I make. I reshoot them, sometimes with their real-life counterpart or out in the real world. The resulting picture is an image that is altered through the camera, and seemingly a collage without any additional Photoshop means.

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Adeline LuloAdeline Lulo’s, Si Dios Quiere (If God’s Willing) is a series of color film images she began during her return to the Dominican Republic in 2013 and again in 2014. This series is the first section of her long-term project in the Dominican Republic. Her time spent reconnecting with friends and family, visiting neighbors in the barrio (neighborhood). The images she created in the Dominican Republic are a continuous series of portraits and still life’s made using a medium format camera with color film. Looking at the textures and conditions of the shanty styled architecture where they live their lives, creating a perception of the spaces they inhabit.

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Danny Peralta’s sensitive work titled, ‘Bout That Life story follows G. Mesa, a young man living in the Bronx, as he navigates life as an undocumented immigrant. There are hundreds of thousands of Dominicans living in New York City, including an unclear number who are undocumented and came to America as children in the 1980s and 1990s. Individuals like G. are marginalized and often live in isolation. For this particular ongoing project, the images presented give a glimpse of his anonymous, yet familiar life of family, work, and play. The images were created with the intention of adding to the dialogue on the war on immigration and drugs in the United States and are compiled from many hours spent with the subject in and around the tri-state area. It is also the intention of the artist to use the story as an educational tool via artist talks and engagements.

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Lawrence Sumulong reinterprets the iconoclastic approach by engaging in the practice of damnatio memoriae with his Trapo series.  He presents images of deterioration as a means of revealing an entrenched feeling of distrust towards a historically corrupt and broken political system. Trapo uses the practice of defacement to not only question the “truthfulness” of the political figure, profane the political portrait’s use as an messianic image of progress, but also gesture towards the trauma of forced disappearances during the Martial Law era as well as the violence that continues to disfigure Filipino society. In this selection of images, reconstructs posters from this past presidential races by photographing the images digitally, processed and printed them with expired Polaroid 600 and SX-70 film, and lifted the emulsions onto recycled, unbleached paper stock made in the Philippines. The title takes its name from the Tagalog word for a torn cleaning rag or a crooked politician. The result of this demanding produce are one of a kind emulsions lift are through postcards or trading cards with quotations on the back.