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Photo Essay

Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography exhibition debuts at M+


The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography is the first photography programme of the French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong opening in March. As the first stop of the travelling exhibition, M+ is collaborating with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), the national library of France. 

It showcases photographic works from 1915 to 2019 and is the first major public exhibition of BnF’s photography collections in Asia. 

“Light and Shadow”, “Aiming for Contrast” and “Colour Chart” are the three main sections in the exhibition. It presents different perspectives for comprehending the creation of black-and-white images over the span of more than a century. 

The exhibition includes more than 250 photographs from BnF’s world-renowned collection, complemented by over 30 works from both mainland China and Hong Kong, drawn from the M+ Collections.

The exhibition will be held from Mar. 16 to July 1. Tickets are $140 for adults, $70 for full-time students, children ages 7 to 11, senior citizens ages 60 or above, persons with disabilities and one companion, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients.

“I Have No Hands to Caress My Face”, by Mario Giacomelli( 1961-1963). This is the first photo on entering the exhibition It highlights the contrast of black-and-white photography.
Hong Kong photographer Lai Shiu-fong took “Black&White” in 1950-1960. Two walls of contrasting colours divide this composition neatly in half. With an emphasis on eye-catching tonality and sharp lines, this photograph is portrayed in a manner that resembles a painting. It is part of the M+ collection.
Luna Feng, 22, a mainland tourist who came to Hong Kong for the first time for the exhibition said, “The first stop of this travelling exhibition is Hong Kong, which is very attractive since we don’t need to go to the French May Arts Fest to enjoy these wonderful photos.”


This exhibition features the work of more than 170 photographers from different countries.
“Smoky World” was taken by Fan Ho in 1959. Fan Ho's photographs of people walking through Hong Kong's Central Market, includes this low-angle shot, and it is among his most famous works
Tour guides from M+ take about ten people on a 30-minute guided tour through the exhibition every hour from 3 pm. They introduce each section in a venue half the size of a football field. 
“Singing on the River” was taken by Tchan Fou-li in 1950-1960. A huge, ink-black mountain covered with sharp rocks and pine trees dominates the foreground, while layers of light-toned mountains are veiled by mist and clouds in the distance.
Visitors enjoying the photos BnF and M+ collections.
A solarised gelatin silver print photo “Hands”, taken by Man Ray in 1920-1934, used the Sabatier effect technique - a tonal reversal that is achieved when the negative or the print is exposed to light during the development process, according to the M+.
“Funeral of the Actor Danjuro, Tokyo, Japan” was taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1965. Mourners mourning the 11th generation of Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro. The Japanese kanji "farewell" is placed in the centre, with the strong contrast of pure black and white to highlight the intense sadness of the image.
Tracy Lau, 26, a beginner on film camera who wants to learn more about the structure of photography said, “I never noticed how beautiful and how mind-blowing black and white photos can be. It’s amazing that there are so many stories told by just two colours.”

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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