Partial Topographiesis a compilation of images, which attempts to reveal Vermont Coronel Jr.’s thought process. Elements like graffiti, hand-painted signs, remnants of construction and destruction make his context visible. Not shying away from nostalgia to imagine new narratives of the city, the artist creates landscapes through framing fragments that stimulate him. These fragments are far from complete configurations.However, they reflect distinct areas that have precise relations to the whole. It is enough, though, that these are documented and reinterpreted to add to the archive the artist had generated as his memory of a place.

Coronel first saw the blockbuster graffiti tags of EVOL and GNJR around five years ago. With the on-going construction of the lot beside the building where the tags are, these landmark street art bombsare soon to be replaced by a new view. Timeworn symbols of commercial progress are also being replaced by markings made by current technology, with less labor and time consumed. There is a wall with a gap used as furnace to separate raw materials of cables for selling. This DIY practice by informal settlers leaves a thick layer of soot on the façade. There are also depictions of discarded banged police cars that occupy a part of the impounding area of the Manila Police District. Two pieces are dedicated to this location disclosing the artist’s fascination with the combination of industrial castoffs and urban flora. All of these traces are tangible but untouchable. They continue to be perceptions distant from us as viewers, detached yet they linger. Coronel’s new collection of imagery encourages us to build our own narratives of our own cities through partial frames of its topographies, to build on memories and generate our own archives of places.