F11 Photographic Museum Opens with Exhibition by Photographer Elliott Erwitt
F11 Photographic Museum in Happy Valley will mark its official opening with a 'Best in Show' exhibition by legendary American photographer Elliott Erwitt. The celebrated photographer will attend the private museum's launch event on Thurs, 18 September and sign copies of his latest book, Regarding Women, on Sat, 20 September.
With a career spanning over 60 years, Elliott Erwitt's collection includes some of the most iconic, era-defining photographs of the 20th century. While the 86-year-old's portfolio includes editorial, commercial and personal images, each photograph reveals his humour, emotional connection and whimsical approach. His cameras have captured historic moments and key figures, from Richard Nixon meeting Nikita Khrushnev in Moscow in 1959 to a grief-stricken Jacqueline Kennedy at the funeral of her husband, President John F Kennedy. He chronicled the 1960s Civil Rights movement, snapped Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable on the set of their final movie The Misfits and photographed politicians and presidents in their prime.
Curated by museum owner Douglas So and photography expert India Dhargalkar, the 'Best in Show' exhibition will feature over 50 original photographs from Erwitt's collection.
"Our vision for F11 Photographic Museum is to generate interest in photography and an appreciation for the art form," explains So. "We do this through our curated collection of rare cameras, books and prints. In choosing to house the museum in a Grade III historic building, we also hope to encourage more private conservation and revitalisation of Hong Kong's heritage properties."
Located in Yuk Sau Street, F11 Photographic Museum occupies a three-storey Art Deco building lovingly restored to reveal its original grandeur. While retaining many of the building's 80-year-old architectural features, the restoration artfully blends elements of contemporary design. Equally passionate about photography and heritage conservation, So, a former corporate lawyer and executive director of one of the largest charities in Hong Kong, transformed what was once a residential block into a state-of-the-art photography museum.
While the ground and first floors will host exhibitions, the second floor is a private museum showcasing a vast display of Leica cameras, including the Model A Anastigmat from 1925, the first year Leitz sold cameras to the public. The upper level museum is also home to over 1,000 titles from the Magnum Book collection, including many rare and first signed editions and maquettes, which are available for research.
Coinciding with the Elliott Erwitt 'Best in Show' exhibition, F11 Photographic Museum will also host a 'Leica M3- 60th Anniversary' exhibition on the second floor. The display of M3 cameras will chronicle the origins and evolution of this seminal model, which not only ushered in a new era for Leica's company founder Ernst Leitz, but also offered Leica photographers a revolutionary experience.
"We are delighted to have Mr Lars Netopil from Germany as the Leica expert advisor to this M3 camera exhibition," added So. Mr Netopil will attend the opening ceremony on 18 September.
The Honourable Bernard Chan, GBS JP, member of the Executive Council and former Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, and Ms Florence Hui, SBS JP, Under-Secretary of Home Affairs of the HKSAR Government, will officiate at the 18 September launch event and welcome Mr. Elliott Erwitt to Hong Kong.