Thursday, June 02, 2011


You are invited to my exhibition and book launch entitled

Philippine Photographs of Male Affection First Half of the 20th Century

Silver Lens Gallery
2320 Pasong Tamo Extension

June 29, 2011
6:00 pm

Curator's Statement by John L. Silva

The existence of photography now going on two centuries has the historical breadth to record the advancements of mankind in that span of time.

Photographs have also recorded events that recur and are obstinate despite the progress seemingly achieved. War, famine, natural disasters are some of them.

And there are vintage photographs that record a social norm, fell out of favor, and now back in vogue. Men intimately posed a hundred years ago is one such set of images.

A Token of Our Friendship, Philippine Photos of Male Affection, First Half of the 20th Century is both a picture book and a photo exhibition to be shown at the Silver Lens Gallery on June 29, 2011, and curated by the author and photograph collector, John L. Silva.

The photographs on exhibit are chosen from the book and chronicle the beginnings of studio

photography, stiff and formal, copying that of painted portraits, incrementally moving to demure but evident affections. Faster shutter speeds, more efficient film processing, and portable box cameras made spontaneous or “stolen shots” possible, which included a greater display of friendship and camaraderie among male sitters both in or outside the studio. Inscriptions written on the back of the photograph, stilted and sentimental in the beginning, became more effusive and natural. By the macho 1950’s such restrained but affectionate poses were not acceptable until the sixties and seventies when gay liberation ended all restrictions on male love.

Original and reproductions of these images will be on sale and a portion of all book and photo sales will be donated to organizations promoting local HIV prevention.

Please RSVP at:

See you there!


clarabelle said...

This is an ORIGINAL, gentle, historical way of presenting the WAY WE WERE and the WAY WE'RE IN. Looks gorgeous. Advanced congrats, John.

dtayona said...

very interesting. i sure wouldn't want to miss this.

jamming said...

congratulations! how much is this book? and how can we order a copy?

John Silva said...

Jamming, please give me your e mail so I can respond.

jamming said...

i live in cebu city.

Geo said...

I live in the US. Is it available at Barnes and Noble? perhaps? I collect Pinoy ephemeras btw, hence the interest.


John Silva said...

Dear Geo and other interested friends in the US.

I will be in San Francisco for the Filipino Literary Book fest to speak about the book and sell it. Please give me your e mail so I can respond to you. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

i am excited to get copy of this book. i hope it is available now in Nat'l Bookstore-Tacloban Branch

John Silva said...

Hi, there are people who are interested in the book. Locally, I can courier it. Just give me your address and then I send it and add 150 pesos to the 800 pesos price for the book. You confirm you received it and I can send my bank details. Thanks!