THOUSANDFOLD (Manila, Philippines) is a multi-platform artist-run space focused on the expansion of contemporary photography and independent publishing in the Philippines. We operate as a PHOTOBOOK LIBRARY with a growing archive of local and international titles and as a venue for critical programming including WORKSHOPS and curated EVENTS like our that bring the photography community together.
Through THOUSANDFOLD SMALL PRESS, our arm for special projects, we push for the production of new works and more publication of Filipino content by working with talented photographers to create distinctive photobooks, artist books, and limited handmade photozines. We have our eyes on bodies of work seen from a self-reflexive point of view, beyond single images.
Our active space is also home to a PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO for rent and a specialty small-batch BOOKSTORE dedicated to hard-to-find, limited-edition, or out-of-print photobooks direct from independent publishers.
As a peer-led meeting place, Thousandfold also hosts PHOTOGRAPHERS SALONS and gatherings of the newly-formed PHOTOBOOK CLUB MANILA, the counterpart of other cities abroad.
Being the first of our kind in Manila, we see our initiative as a positive addition to the the Philippines’ cultural milieu by providing a unique platform for the development, production, and promotion of formidable author-works from Filipino photographers/artists, both established and emerging. Beyond our shores—and through the internet—we engage their works by participating in international fairs, festivals, touring exhibitions, and collaborating with organizations like us regionally and worldwide.
We extend our reach not just to photographers and artists but also to curious individuals, appreciators, collectors, amateurs, and students through our educational activities and by learning contemporary photography first-hand from the processes of current practitioners.
THOUSANDFOLD was founded in 2015 by artist/photographer Wawi Navarroza and was the organizing body behind FOTOSEMANA MANILA 2015, Manila’s first international microfestival for contemporary photography.
In less than a year, since launching in May 2015, we’re proud to be the first photobook library in the PH and the organizing body behind the first microfestival for contemporary photography in the country, FOTOSEMANA MANILA (partially supported by A/CE), which featured a strong lineup of Filipino and international artist/photographers for a week-long activity highlighting auteur photography and photographers’ publications, with visiting artist/ mentor Nicolás Combarro from Spain. We likewise realized THOUSANDFOLD SMALL PRESS’ first release in collaboration with fast-rising Filipino emerging photographer Czar Kristoff and his first photobookzine “Fugue” (2015), followed up with his “Configurations” (2016) and Gino Javier’s “Takpan Mo’t Baka Lumamig” (2016), both launched at Art Dubai in a specially curated section called “Marker 2016” which featured selected artist-run spaces in the Philippines. In keeping with our advocacy to promote visual literacy, we have our in-house periodic “FOCUS” events which features a Slideshow + Talk with both emerging and established local and visiting photographers/artists/curators. Since contemporary photography exhibits are sadly scarce in Manila, we believe Slideshows provide an effective alternative for engagement. Our involvement stretches further internationally with our continued collaborations with the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive (AU), the Indie Photobook Library (US), Self-Publish Be Happy (UK), Istituto Europeo di Design-Madrid (ES), The Philantrophic Museum (SG), Obscura Photography Festival (MY), artbooks.ph (PH), Pioneer Studios (PH), Pablo Gallery (PH) and The Office of Culture & Design (PH) which also brought our books to the New York Art Book Fair 2015 (PS1 Museum of Modern Art). We always reach out to our friends in both mainstream and alternative platforms to mount projects to further our mission.
For $4, the photobook library is open on weekends by appointment via email. Week days are set aside for active production and studio rentals. We are registered as a social enterprise until we can gather the funds to apply for a non-profit organization. Our manpower is powered by ad hoc volunteer participation from photographer-peers who help out by task-specific contributions per project. Our funding mostly comes from private patrons and grant-giving organizations, supplemented with a small profit from our bookstore sales. We’re also intending to gain some financial fuel through upcoming workshops. We understand that this setup can further be developed and formalized to make our operations more sustainable and efficient.