Hong Kong

Edward Burtynsky

Essential Elements

November 2, 2016 – February 3, 2017

About This Exhibition

We are pleased to present an exhibition by acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky in celebration of Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements, a lavish new book examining Burtynsky’s work across four decades.


The book, edited and curated by William A. Ewing, includes both iconic images and many previously unpublished photographs. Relinquishing the project-based lens through which the photographer’s work has previously been presented, it is organized into five free-flowing sections that combine and contrast work from throughout his career. This original approach provides a sense of both his visual language and his exploration of the dilemmas at the heart of our globalized world. Each section is interspersed with selected texts that work in concert with the images to provide a fuller understanding of Burtynsky’s view of the world. Essential Elements, published by Thames & Hudson, provides an entirely new way of seeing Burtynsky’s work for those who are already familiar with it as well as an accessible introduction for those encountering his photographs for the first time.


To celebrate this exciting launch, the photographer has released a number of works that we are pleased to present for the first time in Asia. These spectacular, large-scale photographs depict the impact of human activity upon urban and natural environments around the world. They cover themes such as mines and quarries, the oil industry, ship-building and ship-breaking, water as a resource under threat worldwide and an emergent China.




Edward Burtynsky’s photographs have been published in project-based monographs, featured in award-winning documentary films and seen widely in international touring exhibitions. His previous publications include Water (2013), Oil (2009), Quarries (2007) and China (2005), all published by Steidl, and Manufactured Landscapes (2003), published by the National Gallery of Canada in association with Yale University Press. He is the recipient of many awards, including the TED Prize, the Outreach Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book Award and the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award.




William A. Ewing is an author, lecturer and curator of photography, and from 1996 to 2010 he was director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. His many publications on photography include The Body (1994), Arnold Newman: Masterclass (2012), Landmark: the Fields of Landscape Photography (2014) and Lois Greenfield: Moving Still (2015), all published by Thames & Hudson. Ewing is also a curator with the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Lausanne, and the curator for the Swiss foundation, Carène.

Back To Top