Japanese master photographer Eikoh Hosoe had said that on his work “Ordeal by Roses”, the flower which Mishima Yukio put in his lips was a yellow rose instead of white. In the monochrome world, yellow color delivers higher contrast than the white color.
In December 2014, I went to the northern Japan where the snow was about one meter deep. With my yellow umbrella from Hong Kong, I made a bet with the black and white film. However, the result told me that yellow wasn’t brighter than the white, film was broken when rewinding into the cartridge, 17 pictures disappeared, things remaining were the unsatisfying and out-focusing images.
Published on Art Radar Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond (30-10-2015)
Law Yuk Mui’s work The Yellow Portrait (2014), a black and white photograph featuring herself in a field of snow with an umbrella, is a “footnote” to the Occupy Movement in 2014. Late last year, Law travelled to Japan with her yellow umbrella to test out photographer Eikoh Hosoe’s idea that yellow produces a higher contrast than white in a monochrome world. She found in her experiment that yellow did not come out brighter; and in an unrelated misfortune, she lost 17 photos in the series when her film broke. These broken films and lost images are presented together with the portrait in which the yellow umbrella does not stand out, as if to suggest that failed attempts at something elusive could also be powerful symbols of resistance.