McDermott Gallery curator Robina Hanley and the festival's programme director Françoise Callier at the hanging of the two exhibitions © Jonathan González

McDermott Gallery curator Robina Hanley and the festival’s programme director Françoise Callier at the hanging of the two exhibitions © Jonathan González

At the McDermott Gallery in Old Market, two award-winning masterpieces on great cityscapes in Europe and Hong Kong are about to leave their viewers breathless.

The first is Fan Ho’s Hong Kong Yesterday, a series of black-and-white photographs of the city in the 1950s and 1960s. The other is Gabriele Croppi’s Metaphysic of the Urban Landscape, a series of images taken in various metropolis around the world.

This joint exhibition is hosted by long-time festival partner McDermott Gallery. Curated by APF Program Coordinator Françoise Callier, the shows will run simultaneously from 29th November 2014 until January 6th 2015.

McDermott is a keystone and avid promoter in Siem Reap’s arts scene, having supported a host of local and international artists through fine art photography exhibitions since 2004.

Founded by photographer John McDermott and his wife, writer Narisara Murray, McDermott Gallery now boasts three galleries in Siem Reap. Its gallery in the Old Market area is a two-storey French colonial-era shophouse with sunlight streaming in some parts of the gallery by day.

Ms Bina Hanley, gallery curator at McDermott Gallery, said this year is particularly special as both McDermott Gallery and APFW are celebrating their ten year anniversary.

“Over these immensely interesting years of collaboration, we have had the opportunity to show both emerging Asian photographers as well as a broad range of renowned international Artists,” she said.

In the joint exhibitions, the series of images are juxtaposed with each other to depict the cities’ aura passing through the passage of time.

Ho, who is now in his eighties, was also a filmmaker and has since retired from photography. “Hong Kong Yesterday” portrays his mastery in the theatrics of light and shadow in Hong Kong’s streets.

What first started as an outlet to alleviate boredom and constant migraines from school became Ho’s oeuvre on the city whose old charm was then starting to give way to massive re-development.

“Fan Ho’s images are particularly relevant as they take us back to Hong Kong in the 1950’s and 60’s. Striking scenes which you would not be able to witness today,” Ms Hanley commented.

Milan-based Gabriele Croppi’s photographs in the Metaphysic of the Urban Landscape may have a more contemporary setting but they are no less dramatic, given the juxtaposition of the solitary figure with prominent man-made structures and landmarks.

Said Ms Hanley: “Gabriele Croppi’s high contrast black and whites capture international cosmopolitan cities in a beautiful new light. His use of light and shadow is simply stunning- helping to bring this year’s festival to a whole new level.”

Born in 1974, Croppi received his diploma in photography at the Istituto Italiano di Fotografia in Milan. Croppi has received various international awards in his photography career, and this body of work was was awarded first prize in the Architecture section of the European Photo Exhibition Award.

Catch the opening of the joint exhibitions Fan Ho: Hong Kong Yesterday and Gabriele Croppi’s Metaphysics of the Urban Landscape at 6.30pm this evening at the McDermott Gallery in The Passage, Old Market Area.