The The Asian Civilisations Museum
presents Neither East Nor West: Asians in Monochrome, on view through February 1, 2009. In the late 19th to early 20th century, having a portrait taken in London was a tremendously fashionable luxury. Socialites, nobles and dignitaries in short, anyone who was anyone - had their picture taken at the Lafayette Studio in Londons New Bond Street. This exhibition features portraits from the Lafayette collection including those of important Asian dignitaries who played a significant role in bridging the gap between East and West, as well as Europeans who were relevant to the development of Asia. These prints come from the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The original glass negatives of the Lafayette portraits are in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Neither East Nor West: Asians in Monochrome brings together 40 historic portraits from the Lafayette Collection and 12 more from G.R. Lambert & Co., one of Singapores early studios. The spirit of this exhibition reinforces the idea that differences in geography, race, religion and culture are of no consequence when individuals of different backgrounds come together peacefully.