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Exhibition details

24 March, 2023
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:
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24 March – 20 May 2023

Opening 24 March, 5-7PM

Gallery will be open for Central West Hong Kong (Thu, 16 Mar 2023 | 4 – 8 pm) and Central Gallery Day  (Mon, 20 Mar 2023 | 11 am – 7 pm)

“I’m finding new visual resonances emerging while photographing in Africa. As I evolve my use of the aerial perspective, in these recent pictures I am surveying two very distinct aspects of the landscape: that of the earth as something intact, undisturbed yet implicitly vulnerable… and that of the earth as opened up by the systematic extraction of resources.” – Edward Burtynsky

Flowers Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Edward Burtynsky produced across the African continent between 2015-19, on view in Hong Kong for the first time.

Burtynsky’s works chronicle the major themes of terraforming, extraction, agriculture and urbanization, developing a long-standing preoccupation with the unsettling reality of the human imprint on the planet.

 Burtynsky says: “My interest in Africa owes its genesis to an earlier body of work that I produced about China back in 2004.” In African Studies, Burtynsky reflects on landscapes undergoing rapid industrial and manufacturing expansion. Focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, his images present environments shaped by processes of resource extraction, from the salt pans of Senegal to the ‘residual landscapes’ of mechanized extraction such as Wesselton Diamond Mine, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa, 2018.

Alongside industrialised landscapes, Burtynsky presents images of the pristine natural environment as a reminder of its fragility and finitude, such as the unaltered ecosystem of the Rift Valley in northern Kenya in Flamingos #1, Lake Bogoria, 2017.

Photographed predominantly from aerial viewpoints, Burtynsky’s works often have a flattened frontal aspect, transforming the image into sumptuously graduating colour fields or vigorous grid-like compositions, strikingly reminiscent of Modernist abstraction. Presented at a large scale, and with compelling detail, their painterly surfaces and gestural marks reveal the coalescing designs of both nature and human infrastructure. Burtynsky’s perpetual search for abstraction within the landscape navigates a fine balance between form and content. He describes this dualistic approach as “keeping two doors open” for the viewer to enter the work – leading an enquiry into the expansive subject matter, while exploring the image as a mode of intuitive sensory expression.

This exhibition coincides with a new book African Studies by Edward Burtynsky, published by Steidl.



Edward Burtynsky’s works are in the collections of over sixty museums around the world, including Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim, New York; Tate, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and the National Gallery of Canada. Exhibitions have included Anthropocene (2018), which premiered simultaneously at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada before travelling to Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione eTecnologia (MAST), Bologna in Spring 2019; Water (2013) at the New Orleans Museum of Art & Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, Louisiana (international touring exhibition); Oil (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (five-year international touring show), China (toured 2005 – 2008); Manufactured Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada (touring from 2003 – 2005); and Breaking Ground produced by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (touring from 1988 – 1992).

Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier have created a trilogy of films – Manufactured Landscapes (2006), Watermark (2013), and Anthropocene. Burtynsky received the inaugural TED Prize in 2005; and won theTiffany Mark award in 2012. In 2006, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada; and in 2016 he received the Governor General’s Award for Visual Arts. He holds six honorary doctorate degrees. His distinctions also include the National Magazine Award; MOCCA award; Outreach Award at Rencontres d’Arles; ICP Infinity Award; the Kraszna Krausz Book Award; and was honoured as Master of Photography at Photo London in 2018; and Outstanding Contribution to Photography at the Sony World Photography Awards in 2022. His recently released project In the Wake of Progress, a fully choreographed blend of photographs and film from his 40-year career premiered as a public art piece in Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, ON, Canada as part of the Luminato Festival, and was transformed into an indoor immersive experience at the Canadian Opera Company Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada, both in 2022. In the Wake of Progress continues on a global tour throughout 2023.


Opening hours:

Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm, or by appointment.

For more information and images please contact:

Echo Guo: [email protected] or [email protected]
All images © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London & Hong Kong / Nicholas Metivier Gallery,Toronto.


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