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Noir & Blanc: A Story of Photography

16 March - 30 June


M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, is pleased to announce its first Special Exhibition on photography, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography, which will open to the public from Saturday, 16 March 2024 at Main Hall Gallery, M+. The exhibition is co-presented by M+ and the French May Arts Festival, in collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), and is exclusively sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. It marks the first M+ exhibition dedicated to exploring the medium of photography and the opening programme of the French May Arts Festival 2024. The exhibition includes more than 250 significant photographs from BnF’s world-renowned collection of photography, complemented by over thirty works drawn from the M+ Collections, examining black-and-white photography as a time-honoured medium of art.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography is a thematic presentation of photographic works dating from 1915 to 2019 and will be the first major public exhibition of BnF’s photography collections in Asia. It will feature over 170 internationally celebrated photographers, including Man Ray, Diane Arbus, Mario Giacomelli, Robert Frank, William Klein, Daido Moriyama, Valérie Belin and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Over thirty works from the M+ Collections will also be showcased, spotlighting how eminent Asian photographers and artists such as Chang Chao-Tang, Ho Fan, Lang Jingshan, Liu Heung Shing, Nalini Malani, Ishimoto Yasuhiro and Yau Leung transformed this expressive medium.

The three thematic sections of the exhibition offer different perspectives to understand black-and-white image-making over the course of more than a century. ‘Aiming for Contrast’ captures moments of stark opposition in our everyday existence that intensify perceptions of reality. ‘Light and Shadow’ demonstrates how photographers ‘paint’ with light, expressing nuances of texture, mood, pattern and structure. ‘Colour Chart’ highlights the tonal nuances of grey, which introduce infinite variations to monochrome photography.

Public programmes

M+ and the French May Arts Festival will co-present a series of Jockey Club Education and Outreach Programmes to accompany The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography throughout the exhibition period, including guided photographer-led tours, talks and conversations. There will also be in-gallery self-guided activities for schools, as well as community tours to engage a range of audiences. M+ will also host a conversation between Pauline J. Yao, Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+ and Flora Triebel, Curator of 19th-century photography, BnF, at The Forum, M+ on Saturday, 16 March 2024. More details will be announced on the M+ website.


16 March
30 June
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