While digital photography has become ubiquitous from personal entertainment to commercial application for its convenient and accessible technology, traditional darkroom practice has evolved to a new stage for its unprecedented artistic value, its process as performance and its outcome as object of art. Just like the invention of photography 170 years ago which prompted an immediate emancipation of the representational mode of painting, the domination of digital imaging drives us to contemplate the essence of traditional photography which, bridging up the gap between now and then with the tactility of the photo emulsion that reacted with the light ray of the past, contributes significantly to the object history of contemporary art. And it is this physical nature which allows us to explore the artistic value that cannot be achieved by digital photography.
Black and white photography has developed its aesthetics and language for its own right alongside with colour photography, despite the common perception of it as the predecessor of the latter. It frees us the obligation to follow the colours of reality while offering a powerful vocabulary of greyscale, contrast, form and shape.
This course aims to explore the art of black and white photography with high-calibre camera work and advanced darkroom practice from film to print processing. Besides developing their aesthetic sense, students are expected to master the language of black and white photography with an adequate knowledge of various photographic materials and equipment.