I had a discussion with a photographer friend about why Hong Kong people don’t seem to appreciate photographs in black and white. I guess it’s because the monochrome color-scheme makes the photographs look “old-fashion”. But when you interpret the word “old-fashion” carefully, it can mean “timeless”. Something timeless is equivalent to something classic that would remind in the hearts of people from now and forever.
As a fan of black and white photography, I’m really happy to learn that the prestigious French photography studio and, Studio Harcourt, is hosting a popup studio at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong for the first time from September 27 – 29 , and also exhibiting their photography series of internationally renowned celebrities and artists at IFC Mall until October 13.
I reckon it’s a great opportunity to show to Hong Kongers that black and white photography can be beautiful and never fades with time.
Studio Harcourt was founded in 1934 in Paris, France by French photographer Cosette Harcourt. The studio became well known by photographing famous icons and elite as not everyone could afford it: the studio produces very luxurious portraits starting at around HK$25,000. Roland Barthes, the French philosopher and critic once wrote in 1957 that, “In France, you are not an actor if you have not been photographed by the Studio Harcourt”.
Except for shooting superstars (such as Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci, Salvador Dali, Nadal, Zidane, Federrer, Fan Bingbing and Michelle Yeoh), Studio Harcourt has also done publicity shootings for prestigious labels such as Chanel, Lancel and Mercedes and Dior.
Here are some of the portraits I like, from athletes, designers to actors and actresses.
The fame of Studio Harcourt should be credited to Cosette Harcourt, the Founder of the photography studio, who has created a trademark photography style for the studio. The studio uses tungsten lighting and 24 x 30 cm prints inspired by films of the 1930s, thus creating exquisite photographs that capture the essence of the character’s soul, depth and three-dimensionality. Harcourt style consists in photos taken at close distance to the subject in its best light, creating a halo of light and dark, on gray-to black background.
Studio Harcourt’s exhibition is open at IFC Mall’s Oval Atrium from now until October 13. Exhibition goes can even create an unique portrait of themselves at the photobooth of the exhibition.
Studio Harcourt Hong Kong Exhibition
Oval Atrium, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
September 26 – October 13, 2013
10am – 10pm Mon – Sun