Dates: 20th September – 10th November 2016

Bruno Barbey has travelled the world as a Magnum agency photojournalist, capturing key world events.

We should recognize that Bruno Barbey’s unique photographic approach rendered him a pioneer of photojournalism. In response to pivotal events that shook the latter half of the 20th century, his instincts seem to have always brought him to witness at the right time, and ahead of everyone else.

KUWAIT. Gulf War. 1991. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq took place on August 2nd 1990. It was followed by the Allied intervention under operation Desert Storm. The Allies finally liberated Kuwait on February 27th 1991, after 7 months of occupation and 5 weeks of war. After its liberation, Kuwait has managed to return to its Old Ways.

He possesses a rare modesty among photographers, and a patience that helped during his travels in the Middle East when photography was not a common medium.


He takes his time, adapts to the people’s rhythm, with prudence and without being invasive. “I photographed there when I could, sometimes on assignments, mostly on my own. My goal was to try to catch the spirit of the place.”

VIETNAM. Cat Ba Island. Village of Cat Hai. April 1st, 1994. 35th Anniversary of Ho Chi MINH. 1994.

Witnessing UAE events in the 1970s

“During Ramadan, Sheikh Rashid was lying on a wooden bench at the entrance of the palace and often asked a servant: “has the sun set yet?” To break the fast, he took me by the arm to return to his palace. Such an invitation was a great privilege. Today, they kept the same culture, these experiences take me on a fantastic journey”


This art exhibition is supported by Aramex Art, specialized in freight art handling and exhibition freight.


About the Artist

Bruno Barbey is a Frenchman born in Morocco. He studied photography and graphic arts at the École des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. Between 1961 and 1964 he photographed “the Italians”, treating them as protagonists of a small ‘theatrical world’, with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation. During the 1960s, he was commissioned by Éditions Rencontre in Lausanne to report from European and African countries. Bruno Barbey also contributed regularly to Vogue. A decade later, between 1979 and 1981, he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history, publishing his work in the widely acclaimed book ,“Poland”. He served as Magnum Vice President for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 – 1995.

Over four decades Barbey has journeyed across five continents and witnessed numerous military conflicts. Although he rejects the label of ‘war photographer’, he has covered civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in most of the world’s major magazines. Barbey is known particularly for his free and harmonious use of colour. He has frequently worked in Morocco, the country of his childhood. In 1999 the Petit Palais, Paris, organized a large exhibition of photographs that Barbey had taken in Morocco during the previous three decades.

He has received many awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit; his photographs have been exhibited internationally and are in several museum collections. In 2016, Bruno Barbey was elected a member of the French Academy of Beaux-Arts.