Gregory Colbert’s ‘Ashes and Snow’ comes to Sabah


In November 2010, Gregory Colbert and his Ashes and Snow team arrived in Malaysia to film and photograph  models amongst the swirling schools of barracuda and jackfish found at the world famous Sipadan Island, on Sabah’s East coast.

Gregory Colbert’s sixteen-year personal and artistic odyssey Ashes and Snow is an ongoing project that weaves together photographic works, film, art installations and a novel. The exhibition consists of more than 50 large-scale photographic artworks, a 60-minute feature film and two short film haikus. To date Ashes and Snow has received over 10 million visitors making it the most attended exhibition by any artist in history. “When I started Ashes and Snow in 1992, I set out to explore the relationship between man and animals from the inside out. In discovering the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards restoring the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals,” says Gregory.

As Gregory’s local fixers in Borneo, Scubazoo worked closely with the Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah Parks and the National Security Council to provide filming permits for Sipadan, logistical support and local production management from the time the crew stepped off the plane at Kota Kinabalu international airport until the time they left – including the import and export of nearly one tonne of filming and photography equipment.

Scubazoo’s involvement didn’t stop there. As well as being local fixers and location managers, Scubazoo’s operations director Simon Enderby and underwater cameraman Chris Tan accompanied the film crew to Sipadan Water Village for the duration of the shoot, working as dive supervisors and inwater dive safety at Sipadan. Over the course of the shoot at pulau Sipadan Gregory and the team got all the images they wanted and more.