The Hong Kong Theory

Black and White Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Theory (2017-2019)

” Black / white situations cannot be found in the world “out there” because black and white are limits, are “ideal situations.” Black is the absence of light, white is the total presence of light. Black and white are “concepts,” for instance of optical theories. Since black and white situations are theoretical, “they cannot be found in the manifest world. Black / white photographs, on the other hand, are found nearly everywhere: they are images of concepts contained in a theory of optics, and they owe their origin to such a theory.

Black and white does not exist in the world “out there,” which is a pity. If they existed, the world could be analysed logically. If we could see the world in blacks and whites, then everything in it would be either black, or white, or a mixture of the two. The drawback, obviously, is that such a world would not result in color, but in gray. Gray is the color of theory, after having theoretically analysed the world, it is impossible to resynthesize it. Black / white photographs display this fact: they are gray, they are images of theories. ”


Flusser Vilém

Towards a philosophy of photography, 1990