Hungarian House of Photography
Current Exhibitions

André Kertész Hall

Into the Orient 1955-1958

Open to the public:
March 28 – May 18, 2014
on Weekdays: 14.00 - 19.00
at Weekends 11.00 - 19.00

The 90-year old French photographer Marc Riboud, who took one of the most famous, iconic anti-war photos ever (which was exhibited in the exhibition of Howard Greenberg’s collection at the Mai Manó House), now is on view with his photographs shot during his travels in the Far East.

Marc Riboud is a member of a generation of photographers with outstanding performances that, during the time of ease after World War II, considered focusing on humanism as the essence of life and work. These values ​​defined their photographic activities, their daily lives, as well as the future upon the disappearance of common hardships and threat.

In 1947, he became a member of the legendary Magnum photo agency, while later he was also its president between 1976 and 1979. He became close friends with and a disciple to Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, two founding members of Magnum Photos. Capa sent him to London to see the world, while it was Henri Cartier-Bresson’s letters awaited him at stages of his travel in the Orient, either offering practical travel advice or comments on his images.

Images of Marc Riboud’s exhibition lead visitors through the exotic locations of a three-year journey. The openness of his vision is revealed, showing the sensitivity he applied to capture cultures unknown to him. His curiosity, which stems from his personality, opens these mysterious worlds so naturally as if he knew all of their meanings. He was interested in people and life; through his photographic work, he experienced the ability of wonderment at the world. In his pictures, emotions always appear in rigorous compositions, allowing us to see how the exceptional intertwining of form and meaning means that there is no aesthetics without ethics.

For this exhibition, about 70 photographs were selected from his images taken in Turkey, India, Nepal, Japan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and China, showcasing his life and work between 1955 and 1958.

Gabriella Csizek, curator of the exhibition


Marc Riboud is born in 1923 in Lyon. At the Great Exhibition of Paris in 1937 he takes his first pictures with the small Vest-Pocket camera his father offered him. During the war, he took part in the fights at Vercors. From 1945 to 1948 he studies engineering and works in a factory. After a week of holiday, during which he covers the cultural festival of Lyon, he drops his engineering job for photography.

In 1953, he publishes his famous photograph Eiffel Tower Painter in Life magazine and joins Magnum agency after meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Robert Capa later sends him to London to see girls and learn English. He doesn’t learn that much English but photographs intensely.

In 1955, he crosses Middle East and Afghanistan to reach India, where he remains one year. He then heads toward China for a first stay in 1957. After three months in USSR in 1960, he follows the independence movement in Algeria and Western Africa.

Between 1968 and 1969 he is one of the few photographers allowed to travel in South and North Vietnam. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later; since the 1980’s he keeps travelling at his own tempo. Marc Riboud published many books, among which the most famous are The Three Banners of China (ed. Robert Laffont), Journal (ed. Denoël), Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven (ed. Arthaud/Doubleday), Angkor, the Serenity of Buddhism (ed. Imprimerie Nationale/Thames & Hudson), Marc Riboud in China (ed. Nathan / Harry N. Abrams).

In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums through Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which there are two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.


Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
H-1065 Budapest-Terézváros, Nagymező utca 20.
Telephone: 473-2666
Fax: 473-2662

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