Claudine Doury: Between Magic and Reality

Wetzlar, 20th October 2022

From 22nd October to January 2023, the Leica Gallery Wetzlar is presenting works by the multi-award-winning French photographer. 

Time and again, the Paris-based photographer manages to captivate us. She takes the viewer to faraway locations: with delicate colours and sensitive images, she speaks of lesser known and wonderfully dreamlike places; yet she never drifts into nostalgia, but proves herself a precise observer and empathic companion, without revealing every secret. Over recent decades, Central Asia, Crimea and Siberia have been her preferred areas of exploration. The distinguished photographer, who won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 1999, is presenting three series in an exhibition at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar – all taken with her analogue Leica M6.

In the mid-nineties, Doury explored Russia’s northern reaches, where she documented the lives and traditions of the last nomadic people living there. She covered thousands of kilometres, travelling from the Amur River, all the way to the lands beyond the Polar Circle. Her black and white LOBA series, The Last Nomads of Siberia, captured the tough everyday living conditions of the people who, even then, were caught between an omnipresent, but disappearing, cultural heritage and a rapidly changing world.

The second series, Artek, was a long-term project that began in 1994, and centred around youths at a summer recreation camp in Crimea. Established back in 1925, Artek had, once again, become a popular place for the children of privileged families in the post-Soviet era. Over a span of ten years, Doury captured sensitive portraits of a generation in transition from child to adulthood. Her touching images have lost none of their intimacy.

The third and most comprehensive part of the gallery exhibition is dedicated to pieces from her Loulan Beauty series, produced in Central Asia. “From 2002 to 2005, I was able to travel through the Aral region of Kazakhstan, to Uzbekistan, Xinjiang and on to the banks of the Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan,” Doury explains. Poetic moments, portraying “the heirs of sunken kingdoms, fishermen without a sea, and children who dance to bring back their parents who work far away.”

In all three series, the photographer asks fundamental questions that explore the relationship between people and nature, memory, transience and transition, loss, change and new beginnings.

Claudine Doury was born in Blois near Orléans, France, in 1959. After studying Journalism, she first worked as a photo editor, before turning fully to photography. She has received a number of awards for her work: in addition to the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (1999), she has been honoured with a World Press Photo Award (2000) and the Prix Niépce (2004) for her complete photographic oeuvre. Her photography has appeared in solo and group exhibitions around the world, and her work has been published in numerous photo books. Doury has been a member of the Agence VU’, since 1991, She lives and works in Paris.

Speaking of her series, Doury says:

“With The Last Nomads of Siberia, my interest was to know who these people were. We didn’t know much about them, and I wanted to show their specific culture and way of life.”

“I decided to shoot Artek in 1994, when I first heard about it. Since the Soviet Union had collapsed, I wanted to see what still remained of that camp. I like to photograph young people because they live in a sort of ‘in between’ space, where everything is possible.”

Loulan Beauty is the story of a slow disappearance – into the sand and in time. The end of a world – a trip through post-soviet central Asia and Xinjiang province in China.”


Please find further information at:

Leica Camera AG 
Ann-Kristin Löhr 
Global PR Coordination


Press Release Claudine Doury October 2022
pdf (71.19 KB)

라이카 카메라 – 사진의 동반자

라이카 카메라 AG는 세계적인 프리미엄 카메라, 스포츠 옵틱스 제조사 입니다. 라이카 브랜드의 전설적인 명성은 오랜 전통을 자랑하는 장인정신과 독보적인 퀄리티, 독일의 인더스트리얼 디자인과 혁신적 기술의 조합을 바탕으로 하고 있습니다. 라이카 문화의 핵심은 사진 문화 발전을 위해 브랜드가 다양한 활동을 펼치고 있다는 점 입니다. 전세계에서 만나볼 수 있는 라이카 갤러리와 라이카 아카데미, 공로상에 해당하는 라이카 명예의 전당 (Leica Hall of Fame Award)과 매년 전문 작가와 신진 작가를 지원하기 위해 진행되는 라이카 오스카 바르낙 어워드 (Leica Oskar Barnack Award “LOBA”)는 현존하는 사진상 중 가장 혁신적인 스폰서십을 제공하는 것으로 알려져 있습니다. 이 외에도 독일의 헤센(Hessen) 주 베츨라(Wetzlar) 시에 위치한 라이카 카메라 AG 본사는 포르투갈의 Nova de Famalicão에 제2공장을 가지고 있으며, 전세계의 지사 네트워크를 관리하며 라이카 리테일 스토어를 운영하고 있습니다.