Monday, May 12, 2008

PICTURE PARADISE: The first century of Asia-Pacific photography 1840s-1940s

Held at the National Gallery of Australia, 10 July to 9 November 2008

Hoping to find time to go for this show.

The Gallery’s new Asia and Pacific collection will be showcased for the first time from 11 July to 9 November 2008 with The first century of Asia–Pacific photography. This exhibition will be the first survey of the history of photography from India and Sri Lanka through Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific to the west coast of North America, from the formative decades of the 1840s to 1860s to the early 1940s and advent of the Second World War.

The exhibition will cover the adoption of successive photographic processes across Asia and the Pacific region – from the unique daguerreotype portraits on metal plates in the 1840s–1860s to the mass production of views on paper made possible from the 1860s on to the turn of the century by the wet-plate and then dry-plate glass negative process and finally, the modern era of small 35 mm film cameras introduced in 1925 with the release of the Leica. A special feature of the exhibition will be a presentation of the first colour photographs taken in the Asia and Pacific region from the 1920s to the 1940s.

The exhibition will include pioneer nineteenth-century local photographers as well as European photographers working in the region such as Scot John Thomson, who published the first travel photography books on Asia. Work by first generation indigenous photographers – Lala Deen Dayal from India, Francis Chit from Thailand, Cassian Cephas from Indonesia, Afong from Hong Kong and Carleton Watkins in California and Alfred Bock in Australia will complement views and ethnographic photographs by immigrants such as Armenian Onnes Kurkdjian in Indonesia, JW Lindt, who migrated from Germany to work in Australia and Alfred Burton, an Englishman who worked in New Zealand. Surrealist work by Australian Modernist Max Dupain will be placed in context with the work of Lionel Wendt from Sri Lanka and Osamu Shiihara from Japan. An important feature of the exhibition will be the first account of women photographers in the region including Hedda Morrison in China, Imogen Cunningham in California and Olive Cotton in Australia.

No comments: