With the famous Huang Shang Mountains, views of Angkor or Tibet, this exhibition is a real invitation to go travelling. It also tells us a little about the life of Marc Riboud, an extraordinary globetrotter and a persistent observer of the beauty of human beings and objects.
“My obsession: photographing life at its most intense in the most intense way possible. It is a mania, a virus that is as powerful for me as the instinct for independence. And if the passion for life diminishes, the photos fade, because taking photographs is savouring life at 1/125 of a second.” Marc Riboud
Marc Riboud was born in 1923 in Lyons. At the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1937, he took his first photographs with the small Vest Pocket camera that his father gave him on his 14th birthday. In 1944, he was involved in the fighting in Vercors. From 1945 to 1948, he studied engineering at the Central School in Lyons and worked in a factory. After spending a week’s holiday photographing the Lyons Festival, he omitted to go back to the factory and decided to devote himself to photography.
In 1953, he got a photo of a painter of the Eiffel Tower published in Life Magazine. On the invitation of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, he started working for the Magnum Agency. Robert Capa sent him to London “to see the girls and learn English”. He did not learn English, but he did have an intense period of taking photographs.
In 1955, via the Middle East and Afghanistan, he travelled overland to India, where he stayed for a year and from where he went on to China for his first stay in 1957. After a 3-month stay in the USSR in 1960, he covered independence in Algeria and black Africa. Between 1968 and 1969, he did reportages on South Vietnam, as well as on North Vietnam, where he was one of the few photographers to be able to get into the country.
Since the 1980s, he has been regularly returning to the East and the Far East and has exhibited in Paris, London, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Bilbao…
Marc Riboud has published numerous books, the best known of which are “The Three Banners of China”, “Journal”, “Huang Shan, The Celestial Mountains”, “Angkor, Buddhist Serenity”, “Forty Years of Photography in China”, “Tomorrow Shanghai”.