Miguel Trillo, one of the most international Spanish photographers for his efforts to portray youth and dissect the codes of urban tribes, was captivated by Asia on his first trip to Manila in 2001. Then an idyll was born with these much more daring subcultures in his outfits than those of La Movida from Madrid that he began to portray at the end of the seventies. Young Asians who not only embody their heroes from the manga comics, but become those fictional characters themselves. The romance of Trillo (Jimena de la Frontera, Cádiz, 67 years old) still lasts and the result is shown in the Atín Aya room in Seville under the title Fictions There are 140 color photographs taken in 23 cities, including Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong-Kong, Jakarta, Seoul, Singapore, Beijing, Saigon, Taipei and Tokyo; in addition to nine other European (five of them Spanish) and four American. The snapshots, taken between 2007 and 2019 (when the pandemic prevented him from continuing to travel), can be seen in Seville for the first time until September 12. Then they will travel to the Alcobendas Art Center (Madrid).
Photogallery: Miguel Trillo’s New Global Tribes
Sheathed in plastic, just like the comics are presented for sale, they can be seen lolitas, emos o goths whom Trillo has photographed in the most important manga and anime salons that are held in the world. These urban subcultures are joined by the phenomenon cosplay (contraction of the English expression costume play, play dress-up) and have nothing to do with mods, rockers, heavies, punks or posh that Trillo photographed in Madrid in his fanzine Rockocó (1980-1985).
“In a way, I’m still linked to stories,” says this Literature teacher who started as an interim in 1978 and has continued teaching until his retirement, “what happens is that in the new youth literature everything is a virtual image. His thing is comics and video games, ”clarifies Trillo, who admits that he does not like to be photographed. “Photography is a gift from the time capsule. Once, in one of these salons in Stockholm they made me an avatar and it is the image that I use on Instagram and on my Facebook because it does not age. It’s like when I used to play with plastic Indians as a kid, they always looked the same ”, says the photographer by phone from Madrid, the city to which he moved in 2017 after living 23 years in Barcelona. His latest book, entitled The first move is one of those selected among the 10 best publications of the year at the French photography festival Encuentros de Arles, which began in early July.
“The young people I portray live in a continuous birthday party, where they claim their body and fun. Everything is color and imagination. They are living life-threatening years, but their bullets are made of confetti, ”continues Trillo. Sema D’Acosta, curator of Fictions which can be seen in Seville until September 12, reflects on this new work by Trillo, completely different from what could be seen in 2009 at the Andalusian Center for Contemporary Art. “Before the references for any kid were his neighborhood, his friends, the institute. It was a local environment that with the introduction of social networks has completely changed and there has been a homogenization of culture and references, the famous globalization. Heroes stop being real people to become manga characters or superheroes, something that occurs more in America. The neighborhood square has been replaced by a virtual agora dominated by social networks ”, assures D’Acosta, also curator of Triplex. Luis Gordillo, Miki Leal, Rubén Guerrero, which is open at Espacio Santa Clara until the end of September.