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Sebastião Salgado—”Genesis”

Legendary Photojournalist Sebastião Salgado Makes His China Debut

Shanghai Museum of Natural History

510 West Beijing Road, Jing’an, Shanghai (in Jing’an Sculpture Park)

October 23, 2015—December 20, 2015


Sebastião Salgado, a name synonymous with photojournalism who has provided inspiration to generations of photographers in China, will present his solo show “Genesis” at the Shanghai Natural History Museum this October 22. The show, designed and curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, features 245 of his original works—a loving and powerful documentation of the vast array of life which inhabits our planet—the product of an eight-year journey through 32 different countries. The exhibition is presented in five broadly defined ecosystems titled “Planet South”, “Sanctuaries”, “Africa”, “Northern Spaces” and “Amazonia and Pantanal”.


“We are living in an important moment for our planet and photographs are a way of sharing this historical moment,” says Salgado. “Ours is a powerful planet to be seen with fresh eyes. For me, Genesis is a kind of respectful poem that we are writing about our natural home.” Salgado’s travels took him as far south as Antarctica where he watched chinstrap penguins parade along ice burgs and as far north as Siberia where he trekked in -45ºC weather following the indigenous Nenet peoples as they herded reindeer across the tundra. But the inspiration for the series came from an earlier project —the couple Sebastião and Lélia initiated in Brazil on a piece of land, the former farm of Sebastião’s parents where he spent his childhood. Realizing how drastically the land had been marred by farming and other human activities, they worked on the restoration of a part of the Atlantic Forest since the 1990s and succeeded in turning the area into a nature reserve in 1998 creating the Instituto Terra—an environmental NGO dedicated to a mission of reforestation, conservation and environmental education.


Strengthened by this positive experience, Salgado sought to go out and capture the most impressive untouched corners of the planet. The work takes us from the very very small—a close-up of the scaly hand of a marine iguana—to the unbelievably large—clouds hovering angrily over the grand canyon; from the very still—the graphically carved sand dunes of Tadrart Algeria—to the very loud—an elephant in Zambia’s Kafue National Park beating a hasty retreat into to the bush.

These awe-inspiring photographs have travelled almost as much as Salgado—with “Genesis” touring to over 30 different venues to date with many more lined up in the next year. So far “Genesis” has shown at such prominent institutions as The Natural History Museum in London, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, Jardim Botanico in Rio de Janeiro, Fotografiska in Stockholm, Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and the International Center for Photography in New York, among others. Already the show has seen over three million visitors.


Photographer: Sebastião Salgado

A Photographer known for his poignant documentations of displaced people, workers and economic migrants, Salgado first began his professional life as an economist. He picked up a camera at age 27 and was working as a professional photographer at age 30. His travels for various magazines and self-funded projects have taken him to over 100 countries in a career that spans several decades. His books include: “Other Americas”, “Sahel-l’Homme en Détresse” (1986), “An Uncertain Grace” (1990), “Workers” (1993), “Terra” (1997), “Migrations and Portraits” (2000), and “Africa” (2007). Along with the first presentation of the “Genesis” show in London in Spring 2013, the “Genesis” book was produced in two versions; one for the general public and also a sumo size collector’s limited edition. A new book came out in Fall 2015, “The Scent of a Dream”, which spans nearly a decade of Salgado’s research into the world of coffee—a journey to principal coffee growing regions of Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and Tanzania.

His work has earned him the titles of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, “Comendador da Ordem de Rio Branco”, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil and “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” from the Ministry of Culture and Communications, France, among others.

Curator: Lélia Wanick Salgado

Lélia Wanick Salgado studied Architecture at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, and the Urban Planning at University of Paris VIII. Since the early 80s she has worked with photography, first with photography magazines Photo Revue and Longue Vue. After she began her curatorial practice, directing the Magnum gallery and a festival of photography on Reunion Island. She edited and designed the majority of the Salgado’s books and curated all of his exhibitions.

Presented by AMAZONAS images

An agency exclusively devoted to the work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, based in Paris, AMAZONAS images was created in 1994 by Lélia Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado. It is at heart of all the activities concerning the work of the photographer: research, production, press, cultural and publishing.

Supported by VALE

For Vale, a mining company committed to sustainable development, the Genesis Project is an exceptional artistic illustration of our company’s mission, vision and values, as well as our commitment to the integrated development of the communities where we operate around the world. The project shows that harmonious coexistence between man and nature is fundamental to the planet’s equilibrium, and plays an informative and educational function, encouraging the preservation of nature.

Not only does VALE provide financial support to “Genesis” but also generously donated seedlings from its own reforestation program to Instituto Terra and assisted in the recovery of hundreds of water sources across the watershed of the River Doce.

Co-Presented by

China Photographer’s Association & Shanghai Photographer’s Association

The China Photographers Association, established in December 1956, is the first national photographic organization in the history of the People’s Republic of China, a professional association composed of photographers of various ethnic groups nationwide, a group member of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC), and a major force of promoting Chinese photography.


Taschen published the “Genesis” book in two versions:

A sumo size collector’s limited edition in two volumes.

An edition for the general public in size 36×25 cm, with 520 pages.

Exhibition Details

Shanghai Natural History Museum: 510 West Beijing Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai (in Jing’an Sculpture Park)

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00-17:15

Closed: Mondays (except when Monday is a national holiday)

Hours: 8:55am-4:30pm

Any modifications or alternative arrangements will be advertised.

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