Exhibitions & Events


Work from The Early Years, Archive Project No. 1

Time |
7pm-8:30pm
Location |
Laundry Steps
Price |
Free of charge

This event has been postponed until further notice. Please check for updates on the Tai Kwun website. Thank you for your understanding.


Special thanks to Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong


On the occasion of her exhibition, “Annie Leibovitz. Work from The Early Years, Archive Project No. 1”, Tai Kwun will host a talk by Annie Leibovitz that explores her oeuvre and photography's evolution as a force for art making. The event on 19 November will be followed by a Q&A hosted by Tobias Berger, Head of Arts, Tai Kwun.

Annie Leibovitz’s prolific output and her inventive approach to photography itself position her distinctly within the traditions and trajectory of American portraiture during the twentieth century. Her unique photographic language dovetailed with – and advanced – the medium’s evolution as a force for art making.

Annie Leibovitz is in Hong Kong for an exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Gallery.


Annie Leibovitz was born in 1949 in Connecticut. She bought her first camera in the summer of 1968, when she was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, and her early works are punctuated by images of the Bay Area landscape and photographs shot during drives the artist often took on the highways between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Leibovitz switched majors from painting to photography, and while still a student, in 1970, she approached Rolling Stone magazine – just three years after its inception – with a few of her pictures, thus beginning her career as a photojournalist and embarking on what would develop into a symbiotic relationship between the young artist and a magazine famous for reflecting the American zeitgeist. Leibovitz became Rolling Stone’s chief photographer in 1973, and she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair in 1983. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she developed a large body of work – portraits of actors, directors, writers, musicians, athletes, and political and business figures, as well as fashion photographs. Leibovitz’s portraiture reflects a signature technique she developed early in her career, as she consciously and consistently fit style to subject through collaborating with her subjects, photographing them in their homes or in a location that meant something to them, where friends, lovers, children, and other personal markers might appear.

Annie Leibovitz’s prolific output and her inventive approach to photography itself position her distinctly within the traditions and trajectory of American portraiture during the twentieth century. Her unique photographic language dovetailed with – and advanced – the medium’s evolution as a force for art making. The singularity of her vision, which included combining portraiture with photojournalism that captured historical and cultural touchstones throughout the United States and abroad, places her within a lineage of some of her personal heroes – artists like Andy Warhol and Richard Avedon, both innovators of their mediums. Influences such as Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson inspired Leibovitz to turn the tide on photography’s reception. Combining Frank’s highly personal and emotional style of photographic reportage with Cartier-Bresson’s Surrealist and even sculptural art photography, Leibovitz embraced her own inclination toward personal journalism. The artist’s large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the most well-known portraits of our time. Her immense and varied output reveals a singular ability to merge the tactics of portraiture with profound humanism and sly wit.