Who are they key women in your life? Which famous women inspire you? I caught myself thinking about inspirational women when I saw “Women: New Portraits” by Annie Leibovitz (twice, because sometimes you have to go twice when the first time is on a crowded Sunday afternoon with your toddler!)
Annie Leibovitz has always been one of my favorite photographers. From John and Yoko Ono’s intimate last portrait to her recent shots of a majestically graceful Misty Copeland, she really captures the essence of a person in her photographs.
She previously had an exhibition of some of the powerful women she shot in. I was able to see these photos when we still lived in London (isn’t it wonderful when art travels to so many different places in the world). The “Women: New Portraits” by Annie Leibovitz exhibition will still be traveling to a few cities including New York, Istanbul, and Hong Kong. I didn’t have many expectations of this exhibition but knew I would see a few famous as well as fashionable photos.
Women: New Portraits by Annie Leibovitz
The setup for this exhibition is strikingly simple. Each city that houses this exhibition doesn’t place it in a shiny gallery, but a more rough and stark background. Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore has beautiful painted murals and high ceilings, but is otherwise a rather industrial setting.
This made sense with the presentation of the photos and adjoining rooms. Each room on the side of the main exhibition had book of photographs from Annie Leibovitz herself to Richard Avedon. Visitors could quietly browse these photos at their leisure.
The main exhibit consists of three video screens with a rotating selection of photographs. You will see anything from a regal Queen of England to a proud Malala Yousafzai standing in a classroom. I loved seeing simple images like the original supermodels in jeans to an elegant Jane Goodall to various influential artists. The physical photographs were simply pinned to a backboard.
It was also interesting seeing a few images from “Pilgrimages”. These aren’t pictures of celebrities or famed artists, but subject closer to Leibovitz’s heart. These pictures also don’t contain people but rooms, clothes and objects including Louisa May Alcott’s dolls to Elvis Presley’s mother’s dresses.
Another interesting focal point of the exhibition is a circle of chairs in between the video screens and photographs. It was Gloria Steinem’s idea (she collaborated on some of these photographs) and she deems it “a talking circle,” a place where viewers can sit, discuss, and listen to all the feelings and idea these images bring welling to the surface.
I didn’t sit and talk about my feelings or images, but recall that women from all walks of life can be inspirational.
“Women: New Portraits” by Annie Leibovitz
April 29 – May 22
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
30 Keppel Road 089059