George Floyd’s ghastly death on May 25 last year at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis ignited another round of protests against racism and police brutality under the banner “Black Lives Matter.” The protests quickly spread to more than 60 countries across the globe.
British artist Justin Mills lives in Bangkok, far from the American street where police officer Derek Chauvin’s knees suffocated Floyd, but as a fellow human being and a white man with a conscience who longs for justice and equality, Mills felt he could no longer stand silently by.
“You Don’t Have to be Black to be Outraged” is a series of photo montages from four American anti-racist movies: Do the Right Thing (director Spike Lee, 1989); Selma (director Ava DuVernay, 2014); Moonlight (director Barry Jenkins, 2016); and I Am Not Your Negro (director Raoul Peck, 2016), capturing key moments along with their English subtitles and turning them black and white.
Mills’ choice of black and white not only reflects the colour issue, but by dividing the image in two, with normal positive print on one side and negative on the other, he also emphasises their complementary quality to highlight the fact that each opposite exists because of the other. There is no white without black and vice versa. This is the scientific fact of photography and of the real world.
Mills graduated from India’s Santiniketan with a Master in Fine Arts in 1994 and has been a resident of Thailand since 1996. While painting has long been his primary discipline, photography is another medium he uses to express himself.
“You Don’t Have to be Black to be Outraged”
A photographic exhibition by Justin Mills
Jan. 9 – Feb. 27
Opening: Saturday, Jan. 9 from 6:30pm – 9:00pm