I have been following Jacob Maentz‘s work at his website/blog at www.jacobimages.com for a few years now. It always amazes me how it could take a foreigner to truly appreciate the significance of our indigenous people’s culture and he does this with keen observing eyes and moving images captured in sincere perspective and beautiful light. Jacob is not the usual tourist who would go to a place only for a few days and take pictures. His Peace Corps background in the country has helped him learn to blend in and become part of a community. Jacob would usually stay for weeks with a community of indigenous people, live with them and more often befriend them. What results are stunning captures of these people’s lives from a vision of an insider. In his first solo exhibit Forgotten Ten , Jacob shares his work spanning a year and a half of documenting the indigenous people of the country (from the Mangyan, Agta, Tagbanua, Kalinga and more) which makes up about 10-20% of the country’s population, hence the title of the exhibit.
I won’t be surprised if I had unawarely crossed paths with Jacob himself during travels. I remember when I visited Maconacon Isabela, I just arrived and alighted the plane and I saw his tall stature and he was on the way up the same plane I boarded. Finally I was able to meet the esteemed photographer himself at his exhibit last saturday afternoon on regular viewing. I got to know a little on his work, how his original plan of just 50 photos grew to 103 on print and even with his towering presence, he could humbly speak to his guests and greet them personally for the visit.
Do check out the Forgotten Ten exhibit currently on display at the Water Dragon Gallery, Yuchengco Museum, RCBC, Makati from January 10-23, 2014. Musuem hours is 10am to 6pm. There’s a Php 100 entrance fee at the Musuem. Jacob Maentz works are also available for purchase. Check out his print catalogue. Funds from his prints will go to his ongoing Katutubo Project which aims to help bring about awareness of the Philippine archipelago’s indigenous people.