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Star photographer Annie Leibovitz’s “Women: New Portraits” exhibition sends powerful message

Photos and portraits shed new light on women in top positions, and will be on display till May 22.

Sheryl Sandberg has graced the covers of prominent business magazines, but it’s unlikely that you have seen the Facebook COO as immortalised by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz: Seated casually at a conference table with hands folded, one leg folded beneath the other – complete with a faint bruise on one knee.

Confident and comfortable, authoritative yet approachable, this is the new face of soft power.

This image will be among a series of thought-provoking portraits on show at Women: New Portraits, an upcoming exhibition commissioned by UBS. Following stops in London, Tokyo and San Francisco, the showcase has come to Singapore as part of a 10-city tour.

Smaller pic - MISTY_COPELAND_2015

Photographed by Leibovitz in New York City last year, elegantly ethereal Misty Copeland is helping the classical world of ballet to move forward in a modern world. A strong advocate of diversity in ballet, Copeland was appointed a principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre last June – making her the first African-American woman to hold the prestigious post in the company’s 75-year history.

Demonstrating her dramatic and offbeat style, Leibovitz’s project is a follow-up to Women, a series of portraits published in 1999. It celebrates accomplished women from various realms, including ballet dancer Misty Copeland (see sidebar), social activist Malala Yousafzai, and feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem.

In her introductory essay to the book Women, the late American writer Susan Sontag described it as “a work in progress”. Seventeen years on, Leibovitz’s latest images continue to tell the story of how women’s work is not quite yet done.

Women: New Portraits runs at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station until May 22. Admission is free.

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