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Fookshit: Last of Days

A Parallel Planets piece by Joy Celine Asto

Parallel Planets presents Fookshit
in Last of Days
Story by Joy Celine Asto

Mentioned: photobooks, artistic endeavors, and nostalgia

* * *

Three years ago, I had the luck and pleasure to meet and work with Jason Delos Reyes – better known through his cheeky moniker fookshit – and witness some of his most interesting artistic endeavors come to fruition. To me, he effortlessly fit the bill of the quintessential creative. To call his desk “messy” would be an understatement; it was a labyrinth of random stuff strewn here and there, and the wall beside his workstation was turned into what we jokingly referred to as an “installation art” of receipts, candy wrappers, notes, letters, and other stuff. He had a fashion sense you can’t quite pull off – well, you could try and look like a loon, at best. He was never without a film camera – often iconic point-and-shoot ones like the Konica Big Mini – and if you’re lucky enough, you’d see him in action with it. Then, there was this strange feeling that you know him well enough to engage him in interesting conversations, but at the same time, you’re sure you really don’t.

The early stages of Fookshit's labyrinthine work desk.

I was sure of one thing, however. If he wasn’t working as the junior manager of an online community of film photographers, he was brewing something visually interesting. I sometimes found him cutting and pasting things (some of which later turned out to be light box collages). Prints of his photos would occasionally litter and further convolute his desk – I would take a discreet peek and nothing more. My curiosity eventually drove me to poke around his websites and online stuff, which only served to paint him as an even more intriguing individual: a photographer who started tinkering with film cameras when he was 20, yet never took it seriously; once he did, however, he took part in exhibits in London, Bogota, Milan, Tokyo, and Prague, and contributed to a number of independent publications. “WHY DON'T YOU SHOOT BOYS?” asked one of his photography projects, because you can, and he certainly and brazenly did – with a string of friends, lovers, or both, I never had the guts to ask. His style was an arresting hodgepodge of a number of things: bold and simple, personal and candid, portraits or landscapes, plain slices of life or intimate stories that would make you blush.

Later that year, he released his first book, a print set called #foreveralone: FIVE STORIES OF SOLITUDE BY FOOKSHIT, which I understood was a visual tale of love, loss, and loneliness from the title alone. Five photo sets, five different stories, all cemented together by a heart-wrenching conclusion that goes, “Because whether you’re here with me or not, everything remains unchanged – I’m still the lonesome person I used to be so I thought I could go on being like this since I am #foreveralone eversince.”

The next year saw us abruptly parting ways as co-workers, which greatly saddened me personally as I’ve always liked having him around and seeing him dabble at his latest artsy pursuits. A few days after he left, I found something on my work desk. It was a self-published photobook called LAST OF DAYS, which he signed “FOOKSHIT LOVES YOU.” I flipped through it right away.

It was an interestingly simple volume, printed on ordinary bond paper and held together with plastic ring binding. There were no pretenses, no attempts at high-brow art, no bid at obscurity. Instead, I was taken for a ride to see what I thought were aimless snaps of his daily life. Cats, puddles, landscapes, foliage, people, street scenes, self-portraits, textures, blurs, hits, and misses – I leafed through them all, and fixatedly so. At the end of all the photos, he wrote, “And this is how the last days of my 20’s looked like.”

So, it was a retrospective into his final days as a twenty-something; to me, however, the photobook was a finally a chance to take a peek into his world – which he probably sensed I’ve wanted to do the whole time – albeit the first and last time. To have received something as personal as this from someone I’ve always seen as a very private person meant a lot to me.

Fookshit said he loves me. But I think I’ve seen the last of our days.

More from Fookshit: Fookfolio, Issuu, Pardon-Garcon, Saatchi Art

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