My love affair with this medium of the arts has not been that long…although I have had my father as an influence to pursue visually-enticing jobs to emulate what he does when he was still among the living, this was accidentally discovered as my original plan was to further delve into the realm of film making.
I have been blessed to have experienced the development of technology through the years, from analog to digital to multimedia. I have seen the evolution of the computer, softwares and operating systems. I have seen science-fiction come to life!
But from all this chaos, I was able to find order…I was able to find that niche where nobody else wanted to take…to describe it a bit further, here’s what a friend thinks about my work:
“Appreciating a photographic work requires understanding of the photographer; thus, I can deeply appreciate the obras of Ritche Asagra since I understand him as a person. I was with him few years before I left Legazpi for Korea as fellow members of Aquinas University faculty. We must have brushed elbows when we were both coaches of two different college groups in the staging of Rokyaw in Aquinas University. We also both moved on to the Bicol University as adjunct professors of different departments. We were never close but we were bound to be…later, as Facebook friends. The social network caused a gravitation of my attention to the photographic works posted on my wall, which later zeroed in on photos watermarked as RasagrafikaManila. Said works are not over-demanding, so it seems, but extremely engaging as far as my aesthetic faculties are concerned.
At slack times, I would browse through Ritche’s timeline photos and scrutinize, decipher and dissect each item to appreciate every element. As an old school appraiser, I dare present my observations. On selectivity, he is indiscriminating in choosing his subject matter, taking stock of any object that runs into his visual purview; may it be a caterpillar inching its way through a twig, rain droplets on a green trembling leaf, blazing sun on a lazy afternoon, gorgeous ladies commissioned for a photo shoot on a busy thoroughfare, mundane movements of humans on a market day, holiday decors on the streets, geometric constellations seen through glass paneled windows of a movie theater, whatever, wherever, and whenever. He instantaneously captures each moment with a calculated press on his camera’s shutter rendering a living iota of the vast universe seized in a second of time.
Through meticulous processing of his shots, he presents an interpretive reality of each moment designed to persuade the audience to believe in seeing. He basically describes a person, place, thing or event but his photography goes beyond that for it attempts to either explain or interpret the moment in the articulate way that he produces an indigenous imagery of reality. Ritche produces balance through asymmetry by unconventionally placing his subject out of the focal center to the periphery and balancing the spatial territory with a tricky use of shadows, colors and lines to approximate an orderly chaos. This is most evident in his macros of the spider, bird, caterpillar and so on as well as in his landscapes.
Perhaps it is his idiosyncracy playing on his works that brings a vernacular character to his photography. His compendium of reportorial pictures of events vividly narrates the cultural and human interest ingredients, which tend to inform if not entertain the audience. In this category of photos, he tends more to interpret than explain. If he is adept at interpretation, this must be because of his other preoccupation as a public speaker. He is a lecturer in various subject fields of communication arts and a professional radio disc jockey, in which his penchant for communicative relations is given an outlet.
Me thinks Ritche Asagra’s visual poetry blends well with my verbal poetry, which I have tinkered with lately. Ideas are brewing for a publication in tandem of his photos and my poems. A big bundle of talents and skills, Ritche Asagra is bound to be much better than great beyond photography!” – Dr. Pedro Bernaldez, Ph.D