Phuket is to see its very first Black & White film photography exhibition, organized by the Phuket Darkroom Club or PDC. Audiences will be able to enjoy the beauties and charms of more than 50 selective and refined B & W photos from the PDC members. Among the display will be old and rare photos of Phuket taken by admired local photographers that have not been published anywhere before. These valuable photos include His Majesty the King and the Queen’s during their visit to Phuket in 1959, an aerial view of Phuket, way of livings, old architecture, and the historic tin dredger. All of the featured photos have been made using genuine and authentic darkroom process, something which is hardly used in the modern era. In addition, visitors will have an opportunity to see a group of brilliant Black & White film photos from the masters who have crafted and refined their works to exclusively join the event.
Venue: Chalermraja Cultural Center (former Charter Bank) Corner of Thepkrasattri & Phangnga Roads
Period: 1-14 May, 2013
Exhibition Hours: 11.00 am – 8.00 pm daily
Organizer: Phuket Darkroom Club (PDC)
About Phuket Darkroom Club
Phuket Darkroom Club or PDC was founded in March 2012 by a small group of Black & White film photography lovers, using a small darkroom in the back office of Rijira’s kitchen supplier as a rendezvous for members’ gatherings, where they exchange their experiences and passions about the monochrome world, and sometimes, continue their conversation in the tiny darkroom while enjoying their print development till late into the night.
It was unofficially started in Phuket back in 2010 by two gentlemen who are passionate about Black & White film photography, Kettepon Rijiranuwat (Sak) and Achitrawit Churmung (Loong). The two men shared their dreams and visions to build a good quality darkroom that can be used for Black & White film and print development and to enjoy it as a hobby. Furthermore, unlike digital photography whose popularity is rapidly increasing, Black & White film photography was gradually disappearing. Not even one Black & White film and print development shop can be found in Phuket town. Sak and Loong found that it was an inspiring point and huge encouragement for anyone, particularly Black & White film photography beginners who wanted a chance to use a proper darkroom…..and this was the beginning of the PDC journey.
It won’t be picture perfect for PDC without Jose. Jose Louise Gay, a former Spanish Consulate in Phuket, and a major Black & White film photography enthusiast. He had crossed paths with Sak and Loong during his years of service in Phuket and they became good friends. Jose bought a small shop house in Soi Soon-Uthis, converted it into his residence and used part of the space to keep the largest archives of glass plate negatives which he won at an auction from Liang-Eiw studio when it shut down several years ago. With a kind offer from Jose, a corner of his shop house was given to Sak and Loong to build their first darkroom and their dream was fulfilled. When Jose relocated to New Zealand a year later, the darkroom was moved to a new home, which was attached to Rijira’s office.
In March 2012, a third member, Prapas Kianpotiramared AKA Tard joined the group and they decided to officially form the PDC. They use Facebook as a channel to communicate with members and to share their passion, they regularly post valuable quotes from great and famous Black & White film photographers, useful techniques, beauties and loves, knowledge and photos shot by members,. In the same month the first basic Black & White film photography course was conducted and more members have joined the group since.
To date, PDC has more than a dozen active members in Phuket who meet on a regular basis to go out and shoot films and return to the PDC office to develop and prints them. Several Black &White photography courses have been organized for members and other peoples during the past year allowing them to explore Black & White film photography and gain knowledge and experience of a darkrooms working. PDC currently has more than 200 friends and members on Facebook and the number is increasing.
It’s an honor for PDC members to have an opportunity to exhibit our first Black & White film photography at the Chalermraja Cultural Centre during 1-14 May, 2013. We hope that visitors will enjoy our works that portray the beauty, heritage, culture, and the love they have for their homeland through the Black & White film photography.
For more information, please follow them at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/355969014457391/