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World's first exhibition of platinum-palladium prints?

What is said to be the world's first exhibition of platinum-palladium prints, an exceptional technology allowing the photographs to last for thousands of years, is taking place in Bangkok. Since the late 1980s, the German-born photographer, Hans Georg Berger, has been working in the process and his work has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, among others. 

According to Berger, platinum-palladium prints are a special way of putting a black-and-white image onto paper. It's a very ancient technique; these prints can last for thousands of years unaltered - longer than any other printing material. "We used them not because we wanted to play with platinum, but we think that these photos are so important that they have to be produced in the most archival form possible. We think that these photos are part of the history of humanity and should be documented as such," he said.

The exhibition Nirvana Icons: Sacred Luang Prabang showcases a collection of 23 photos, chosen from over 15,000 images he has taken over two decades. Burger said he is involved in several projects with the Buddhist Heritage Project of the sangha of Luang Prabang.

"Currently, we working on a project with the British Library. We have discovered over 3,500 photographs the Lao monks have been taking of themselves for the past 120 years, so we are digitising and archiving them. It's one of the greatest discoveries in the history of photography. Details of the BL's Endangered Archives project on this photo archive can be found here.

The news report can be found here, and details of the exhibition here. The show will be moving on to San Francisco and Paris sometime next year.

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