George town festival highlights: Before they pass away by photo journalist Jimmy Nelson. 

Before they pass away by Jimmy Nelson for George town festival

Before they pass away. An amazing and captivating exhibition by photo journalist Jimmy Nelson.

He has taken stylised portraits of indigenous tribes around the world to raise awareness of their cultures.

Venue: Bangunan UAB. 21-35 Gat lebuh China, Penang.

Opening hours: 11am – 6pm

Until: 27 August 2017

Before they pass away by Jimmy  Nelson

For more info visit

For more info about Jimmy Nelson visit


Jimmy Nelson (UK, 1967) started working as a photographer in 1987. Having spent 10 years at a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, he set off on his own to traverse the length of Tibet on foot (1985). The journey lasted a year and upon his return his unique visual diary, featuring revealing images of a previously inaccessible Tibet, was published to wide international acclaim.

Soon after (1987) he was commissioned to cover a variety of culturally newsworthy themes for many of the world leading publications ranging from the Russian involvement in Afghanistan and the ongoing strife between India and Pakistan in Kashmir to the beginning of the war in former Yugoslavia.

In early 1994 he and his Dutch wife Ashkaine Hora Adema produced “Literary Portraits of China”. A coffee table book about all indigenous cultures in China and their translated literature. The book was the result of a forty month project that took them to all the hidden corners of the newly opening People’s Republic. Upon its completion the images were exhibited in the People’s Palace on Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and then followed by a successful worldwide tour.

From 1997 onwards, Jimmy successfully undertook commercial advertising assignments for many of the world’s leading brands. At the same time he started accumulating images of remote and unique cultures photographed with a traditional 50-year-old plate camera and awards followed.

In 2010 he began his journey to create the iconic artistic document that became “Before They pass Away”. After visiting 35 chosen Indigenous communities, part 1 was published to International acclaim at the beginning of 2014 and received many awards.

Today Jimmy is still traveling and photographing to produce part 2 of the project. His communication and his passion are found on a far wider platform. He is exhibiting at International Museums, shows his work at the world’s leading Photographic Art galleries, speaking at international conferences and launched the Jimmy Nelson Foundation in October 2016.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Jimmy’s photos are amazing, and his website…WOW!

    Following him on social media now and looking up his books.

    Thanks for the heads up! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great discovery and it would be too selfish of me not to share this rare talent!


  2. Reblogged this on Nesie's Place and commented:
    Great post from Penang Local showcasing the photography of Jimmy Nelson of indigenous tribes and their cultures. A must-see! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. equinoxio21 says:

    That is fantastic. Nelson is a fabulous photographer. I thought it rang a bell: I saw an exhibition of his art last summer in Paris, Place St-Germain-des-prés, a 100 yards away from the church. Thanks for sharing. You both be good. Brian


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