Charles Nikolas Beunconsejo


Charles Nikolas Beunconsejo

Work from Reality is a Hologram.

“It looked like a calm had settled, but then he realized he couldn’t shake off the restlessness. There must be something more than this. Suddenly Charles Buenconsejo felt limited within his own craft, after he reached a point where he thought he already knew what there was to know: about equations of lighting a face learned from his father’s studio, framing a landscape from road trips with friends, setting up an image to tell a story for a magazine…
These have all become too familiar. The shuffling of life and work from behind the camera.

Recently, he got caught in an obsession about concepts of an alternate universe, string theory and wormholes, devouring as much as he could from popularized works of theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku. And as with all those who succumb to the pull of the unknown, Charles’ describes this recent fascination as “falling into a rabbit hole.”

Reality is a Hologram, Charles’ first solo exhibit, wrestles between the skillfulness of the photographer and the unknown that magnify his limitation. To compress within a single frame all the angles that exist in a story without cropping out all the evidence of truth, he can only do so much as a photographer.

In“A Thousand Stars Burst Open”, Charles reveals a galaxy broken up by gravity. Beyond his grasp, this vast universe, and all its secrets and theories scuffle for attention, edged out by reality and common hours for him to move on. And yet he tries to give as much as he could for his sanity by creating slivers of escape routes through concrete.

Charles embraces the idea that reality is an illusion, with the truth standing a few steps away from it. What we want is close enough to be held and yet it cleverly eludes us. “Zoning Out of Reality”sucks you into a trap of an image on loop. It implies an endless night of a cycle of thoughts, caught in a dream state instead of waking up and finally taking action.

Perhaps there are so many things he has to settle within himself. In“In a Different Time, In a Different Place”, the story is that of his middle-aged father packing his bags to live a new dream far from the familiar shores of Cebu. And for Charles, Cebu signifies home and family. To visit a place and to find absent what has been constant unsettles him.

There is more to what we think we already know. There is a need to grow new shapes out of two-dimensional living and to breathe in more volume into it, to dedicate more pursuit to meaning. Sometimes the details paint the whole picture, you zoom out by zooming in. You find that rainbows fall on the dirty ground to save it from indifference.

It is this that he is learning to reconcile: the weight of reality firmly pinning down his desires, and yet knowing that it is only projecting what’s inside.” – Dang Sering

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