A young girl in the town square of a utopic village in Camarines Sur, the Philippines. The new village was set up to provide shelter for the poorest of the poor in the area by the NGO, Gawad Kalinga. The houses were painted brightly and people were taught different, rudimentary skills to survive. I don't know the current state of this village or whether the Gawad Kalinga model actually worked to improve people's live, but this moment represents a time when things seemed hopeful. It was the first trip that I took alone to the Philippines at the very start of my career as a photographer with a camera borrowed from my older brother. My work has since been rooted in my relationship to the country and my family's ancestral lands.
Lawrence Sumulong (b. 1987) is a Filipino American photographer and Photo Editor with Jazz at Lincoln Center based in New York City. In 2015, The Lucie Foundation shortlisted him as an “emerging talent with vision and dynamic ideas that challenge and progress the art form of still photography into work that compels”. In 2016, he was a finalist at the Sony World Photography Awards in the Professional - Conceptual category. Among others, his work has been featured internationally by Burn Magazine, Bronx Documentary Center, Chobi Mela VI, FestFoto - Festival Internacional de Fotografia de Porto Alegre, The GroundTruth Project, Head On Photo Festival, Huck Magazine, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Le Monde's M le magazine du Monde, the Milk Gallery, The New Yorker: Photo Booth, The New York Times, NPR, Open Show New York City, Photovisa VII: International Festival of Photography, the Somerset House, Sydney Morning Herald, Verve: The New Breed of Documentary Photographers, and the World Photography Organisation. His postcard series for the publication, Abe's Penny, is in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art Library and the Brooklyn Museum Library.