John Delante

Behind Glasses Are Sad Eyes

Displacement comes from feelings that originate with an individual and are redirected to a particular person and object. However, my feelings of displacement translate to a place situated between land and sea.

The mise-en-scene is connected through a familiarity of myself while I was in the Philippines. Symbolically, the land represents my past while the sea alternatively embraces the uncertainty of my future. By photographing landscapes, found objects, and self-portraits, the project captures the relationship between my psyche and a physical place.

Behind Glasses Are Sad Eyes is an introspection into the fragility of human mortality. It is a visual soliloquy performed through dressing to highlight my coming-of-age anxiety of growing up. My feelings of anxiety were generated from getting constant pressure to fit in the moulds of traditional masculinity.

Landscapes and detailed objects emotionally express the collective memories of my childhood while giving me hope for a better future.

The classic notion of drifting from Debord’s Theory of the Derive refers to being drawn by attractions of the present, including letting go of what generates the cause of displacement. Ultimately, the project is a form of meditation to come to terms with my complex feelings of identity and displacement.

John Delante is a photographer born and raised in Cebu, Philippines and currently based in Toronto, Canada. His work explores immigrant identity, displacement, and questioning Filipino masculinity through self-portraiture. John’s photography allows him to immerse himself in natural surroundings as it reminds him of his upbringing, growing up in a rural hometown.