B&W and the Constitution of Malaysia

30 09 2008

A couple of saturdays ago I found myself in an art gallery behind the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur where a Black and White Art Photgraphers exhibition was being held. As self explanatory as the event title, all the photos on display were in Black and White. Now I love B&W photography but of the pictures displayed there I only took a liking to a very few. As a medium of art, Black and white photography is quite hard to work with as very few can reproduce the “depth perception” we tend to get with colour photography. Hence some of the pictures displayed here I found to be quite “flat”.

There's a picture of a loo.

Black & White

These pictures were all for sale for about RM800-1000 each to anyone who wishes to purchase them. Although not entirely exclusive, the buyer would be gauranteed of owning 1 of 8 or 10 copies made by the photographer. Of the 5 photographers who had their works exhibited I liked the entire collection of this man who’s had a passion for hiking. His exhibit of photos comprised 5 pictures taken in the jungles of Malaysia.

Nature in B&W

Nature in B&W

Apart from the Black and White Art Photo exhibition, the gallery was also displaying a series of artwork based on the Malaysian Constitution. I found it very interesting and educational. The series showed the Malaysian Constitution as it was first drafted by the Reed Commision and subsequently passed into law in 1948 , labelled as “Before” and the Malaysian Constitution as it is now after having gone through several hundred amendments, labelled “After“.

Malaysian Constitution in Art

Malaysian Constitution in Art

The exhibition was interactive in that it allowed the visitors to paste green coloured stickers on the version they preferred – Before or After. Article 8 was one of the very few parts of the Constituttion that was made better and more acceptable by an amendment as was evident by the votes it garnered from the visitors.

Article 8

Article 8

Both exhibition were as thought provoking in different ways. The Black and White Art Photographers tried to show us the world in it’s stark and colourless form, while the Malaysian Constitution exhibit showed us how how dangerous it is to be indifferent to the “black and white”  that affects all of us in life.

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