Swiss Photographer Sam Arn highlights the way of life in the Philippines through a Photo Exhibit in Switzerland
Zollikofen, Switzerland — On September 11, 2015, Swiss Photographer Sam Arn inaugurated his photo exhibit entitled “Philippines.”. Through the help of his family, friends and colleagues, Sam successfully installed 12 photographs showcasing the way of life in the Philippines. Transportation, friendship, children, shapes and forms are the main theme(s) of the exhibit.
I wanted to let people know how I felt when I travelled the Philippines.
Feelings. If there is one person I know who is truly, madly, deeply in love with the Philippines, it would be Sam. The middle child of the family, Sam grew up in Pieterlen, Switzerland and did not have any idea that one day, he will be a travel photographer. His journey in Southeast Asia started in 2014 covering the countries of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. He travelled in these countries for a maximum of 2 months. To complete the ultimate Southeast Asia backpacking adventure, Sam decided to go to the Philippines and stayed for 7 months!
Sam also confessed that he discovered his ‘talent’ while he was in the Philippines. During his trip in Bohol, his filmmaking device broke and wasn’t able to find the camera parts he needed to film. He then tried taking photos and said that he is really happy experimenting with his camera while he’s at it. He took loads of photos to learn more about lighting and compositions. The most important part of the journey was feeling genuine happiness about discovering something about himself. For him, it was a blessing in disguise — if his filming device did not fail him, he will never get the chance to find out he has the natural skills with shutters.
I think I stayed there for so long because I really loved Dumaguete. My plan was to move to China and teach English but it didn’t feel right at the time. I wanted to stay for as long as I can. And then I fell in love with a Filipina and moved to her hometown in Iloilo.
Of course, how can you fall in love with the Philippines and not notice the Filipina women? Sam met Belle in a lovely day in Iloilo and were inseparable since. They travelled to remote islands in the country — places that I myself never heard of before. Through their travels, Belle became his muse and he took outstanding photographs of her without losing sight of the Philippines’ undeniable beauty.
Sam was not a tourist in the Philippines. His trip was not about fulfilling a bucket list. It was about being deeply involved in a culture that isn’t his; it’s about knowing how the other side of the world eat, cook and speak; it’s about making friends, building relationships and having a place you can call home. The Philippines truly changed his way of life and his experiences were so powerful and fundamental.
“Philippines” will be running until October 23, 2015 at Informa: Rütti 5, 3053 Zollikofen, Switzerland. His photographs are also for sale. Should you be interested, visit Sam’s Facebook page for more information.