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Ayala Museum, Manila

The World We Live In

February 17 – March 27, 2016

Robert Polidori, AMI.04.001, Attique du Midi, Aile du Midi - Attique, Château de Versailles, France, 2005, archival inkjet print, 40 x 54 inches / 101.6 x 137.2 cm © Robert Polidori
Sebastião Salgado, Iceberg Between Paulet Islands and the Shetland Islands, Antarctica, 2005, gelatin silver print, 36 x 50 inches / 92 x 127 cm © Amazonas Images
Steve McCurry, Stilt fishermen, Weligama, South coast, Sri Lanka, 1995, ultrachrome print, 20 x 24 inches / 50.8 x 60.96 cm © Steve McCurry
Edward Burtynsky, Colorado River Delta #2, 2011, chromogenic color print, 60 x 80 inches / 152.4 x 203.2 cm © [2011] Edward Burtynsky

About This Exhibition

Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Collective 88, in partnership with Ayala Museum, present The World We Live In: Through the Lens of Contemporary Photography, a specially curated exhibition that portrays how contemporary photographers document and interpret the world around us, creating images that are both aesthetically thrilling and deeply thought-provoking.

The exhibition includes five iconic photographers represented by Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Asia: Sebastião Salgado, Steve McCurry, Robert Polidori, Edward Burtynsky and Annie Leibovitz. These highly acclaimed individuals share a truly global perspective in their artistic endeavors, while individually crafting unique and often breathtaking visual narratives of key issues of contemporary culture.

Sebastião Salgado and Steve McCurry share a photojournalistic approach, recording human struggle and the impacts of conflict and globalization. Robert Polidori’s atmospheric photographs of buildings around the world altered by the passage of time and the people who have lived in them are investigations into the cultural values embedded in the human habitat. Edward Burtynsky photographs industrial landscapes around the world, laying bare the often devastating impact of manufacturing and human consumption. Annie Leibovitz’s evocative, often elaborately staged portraits explore the intrinsic pull of celebrity and power. Over their long careers, each of these artists has reshaped perceptions of the world we live in.

Sundaram Tagore Gallery is delighted to collaborate with Ayala Museum and Collective 88 for its inaugural project in Manila, Philippines. The exhibition, held in conjunction with Art Fair Philippines (February 18 to 21, 2016), is a continuation of Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s mission to promote cross-cultural dialogue and globalism in contemporary art.


Sebastião Salgado has made it his life’s work to document the impact of globalization on humankind. His black-and-white prints lay bare some of the bleakest moments of modern history as well as some of the planet’s last remaining wonders. In the past three decades, Salgado has traveled to more than one hundred countries for his photographic projects and devotes years to each series in order to grasp the full scope of his topic. Breaking down barriers, he lives with his subjects for weeks, immersing himself in their environments. Salgado describes this approach as photographing from inside the circle. Each of his images is infused with empathy and respect for his subjects.

Sebastião Salgado’s work has been the subject of solo shows at the Barbican Art Gallery, London; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Photographers’ Gallery and the Natural History Museum, London; and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. His Genesis exhibition, curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, which has been traveling to museums worldwide, was most recently on view at the International Center of Photography in New York. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Magnum photographer Steve McCurry is best known for his evocative color images, many of which have become modern icons. He has travelled extensively around the globe to cover areas of international and civil conflict and document ancient traditions, vanishing cultures and contemporary culture. In each of his images he transcends cultural boundaries to capture the essence of human struggle, joy and unguarded moments. McCurry’s exquisite use of color and his unwavering commitment to retain the human element has made his images timelessly captivating.

Steve McCurry has been honored with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest. In 2013 the Minister of French Culture appointed him Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. Most recently, the Royal Photographic Society in London awarded McCurry the Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement. McCurry has scores of book and magazine covers and countless exhibitions to his credit.

Robert Polidori is renowned for his evocative photographs of building exteriors and interiors. Altered by the passage of time and the people who have lived in them, his photographs are investigations into the psychological implications of the human habitat. Polidori has shot all over the world: decaying mansions in the formerly splendid metropolis of Havana, the colonial architecture of Goa and urban dwellings in China and Dubai among other countries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York commissioned him to photograph New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and exhibited those photographs to wide acclaim in 2006.

Robert Polidori won the World Press Photo of the Year Award in 1998 and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography in 1999 and 2000. He has published eleven books and his work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

Edward Burtynsky’spainterly, often abstract photographs, frequently shot from an aerial perspective, show the massive scale of environmental devastation. Burtynsky began photographing nature in the early 1980s. His early works were intimate explorations of Canada’s unspoiled landscapes. By the late 1980s, however, he began to investigate industrial incursions into land with arresting results.

Edward Burtynsky was recognized with a TED Prize in 2005. In 2006 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors. He holds six honorary doctorate degrees. In 2006, he was the subject of the award-winning documentary Manufactured Landscapes, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival. His newest film, Watermark, debuted in 2013. His works are in the collections of more than fifty museums worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; The Photographer’s Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Over a storied forty-year career, Annie Leibovitz has become best known for her portraits of public figures. Beginning her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, she joined the staff of Vanity Fair magazine in 1983. At Vanity Fair and later, Vogue, she developed a large body of work—portraits of actors, directors, writers, musicians, athletes, and political and corporate figures—that expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life.

Annie Leibovitz’s works are in important collections worldwide and she has exhibited at museums and galleries including the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the International Center ofPhotography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg; and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.


Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum, located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District, Philippines, is a breathing space amidst the hustle and bustle of Metropolitan Manila.

Among the museum’s highlights is its collection of archeological artifacts that serve as a testament to the Filipinos’ rich ancestry and inherent craftsmanship. An impressive selection of trade ceramics from Southeast Asia and China from the Roberto T. Villanueva collection are also on display in the exhibition.

Ayala Museum is also the home of the Filipinas Heritage Library, which offers access to more than one thousand contemporary titles on Philippine arts, culture and history.

Ayala Museum regularly calendars programs on history, contemporary art, music and design, including temporary exhibitions, lectures, artist and curator talks, workshops and performances.

Collective 88

Founded by art advisor Teresa Herrera, Collective 88 is a full-service art and design company that develops site-specific artworks and consulting services for hospitality, real estate and personal projects. Collective 88’s aim is to curate collections that inspire, innovate, elevate and activate environments for people who dwell in them, working closely with clients to collaborate on and execute their vision.

Discovery Primea

Discovery Primea, a five-star hotel, is the latest addition to The Discovery Leisure Company and stands along Ayala Avenue. The property is situated at the heart of the Makati Central Business District where commerce, leisure and culture converge. It is conveniently located within walking distance of the headquarters of top corporations and multinationals in the Central Business District of Makati and is also a five-minute drive from the newly established hubs and international firms in Fort Bonifacio Global City. For a taste of Manila’s cosmopolitan scene, it is in close proximity to Rustan’s Department Store, Greenbelt Mall, Glorietta Shopping Mall and the Ayala Museum.

The main architect of Discovery Primea is Kenzo Tange, who was awarded the highest honor in architecture, the Pritzker Prize. The classic Mediterranean Chinoiserie-inspired aesthetics of Discovery Primea are designed to be timeless and yet up to date with modern amenities. Comfort, functionality and style exude in the hotels rooms, suites and dining outlets.

Art Fair Philippines

Founded in 2013, Art Fair Philippines is the premier platform for exhibiting and selling the best in modern and contemporary Philippine visual art. The fair aims to mirror the vibrant local art scene and continue to generate support for Filipino art practitioners. Set in an alternative urban venue, Art Fair Philippines makes art accessible to enthusiasts and to those who want to discover one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting art landscapes.

This Unstill Life February 2016

Steve McCurry, the legendary photojournalist behind National Geographic’s 1985 Afghan Girl cover, captures moments of conflict and quietude in a landmark exhibit at Ayala Museum.

The Right Frame of Mind February 2016

Gallerist Sundaram Tagore’s latest collaboration brings him to Manila, where he partners with Collective 88 and Ayala Museum to highlight some of the world’s most iconic photographers.

Philippine Tatler
Philippine Tatler
All the World’s a Stage February 2016

Five iconic photographers will exhibit their most memorable works at the Ayala Museum.

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