Went down to the National Museum of Singapore for this exhibition. I saw Salgado’s giant book for the first time over in Europe and more recently again in Books Kinokunia at Takashimaya. I was delighted to chance on his exhibition as I walked by the NMS after class and saw the giant banner with one of his images printed on it hanging outside. This particular one in fact:
The gallery was nice and dim with plenty of well aimed lights to light the photos without glare. It was one thing to view the photos printed in the large-sized book but when I saw the mounted prints it was a whole different experience. The blacks were deeper, the dynamic range was greater, the size of the prints were ridiculous huge with plenty of detail. The large ones I feel are also well chosen and the size is used to great effect.
The gallery contains about half of the content in the books but the 250 chosen were fantastic and way more than one person can take in at once. By the time I was halfway through I found myself just glazing over photos because of the richness of the content. It was just wow, wow, wow all the way through until my brain felt a bit overloaded and fatigued. Animals, scenery, nature, obscure cultures and portraits. Very varied content and doesn’t get old.
Photographically, he exclusively used black and white for this project and it really helps as colors don’t bring his message of conservation and how unspoiled nature is so wonderful it should be preserved. You are forced to absorb the information and what’s going on inside it without being distracted or considering the colors. Overall very contrast-y and deeper blacks compared to the books.
I picked up the small version of the book as I didn’t have $6000 to spare. It costs about S$98 and I was going to pay but my dad picked up the bill instead (thanks dad!).
I highly recommend visiting this exhibition which ends 27th July 2014 at the National Museum of Singapore