Picturing Asia: Double Take: The Photography of Brian Brake and Steve McCurry

Stunning images, complex narratives, a fascinating conversation: pictures of Asia by two of the great masters of documentary photography. Picturing Asia: Double Take pairs and contrasts the work of New Zealander Brian Brake (1927-1988), and American Steve McCurry (born 1950).

Brake, best known for his Monsoon photo essay in Life magazine in 1961, inspired McCurry with that series. McCurry later became famous for his 1984 photograph of Sharbat Gula, known as Afghan Girl and published on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. Not just pictures of Asia, these photographs are also invitations to ‘picture this’ – to find the stories within. A satellite component of the exhibition locates Brake in Titirangi where he lived from 1977 until his death in 1988.

This exhibition was commissioned by Asia Society Hong Kong to commemorate the Society’s 60th anniversary. Co-presented by Auckland Arts Festival and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, supported by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Curated by Ian Wedde.

Images – Left: Brian Brake. Film director Akira Kurosawa standing before an image of his principal star, Toshiro Mifune, Tokyo, Japan, 1963. 35mm transparency. Collection Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Gift of Wai-man Lau, 2001. Right: Steve McCurry, Sharbat Gula, ‘Afghan Girl’, at Nasir Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984 © Steve McCurry

25 February - 21 May 2017

Opening Saturday 25 February, 4pm

Photos: Sam Hartnett


Curator tour with exhibition curator Ian Wedde.
Saturday 4 March, 2pm

White Night: Basant Madhur and the Sagram School of Music
Saturday 18 March, 6-10pm

Brian Brake: Lens on Asia, Gallery Lecture with Athol McCredie
Sunday 2 April, 1pm

Raise the Umbrellas: Special Preview Screening
Saturday 22 April, 1pm

Seven Samurai: Film Screening
Saturday 22 April, 5pm