Past Workshop

Two-day Masterclass in Hong Kong with Olivia Arthur and Bieke Depoorter

Push your personal projects forward with this two-day masterclass led by two Magnum photographers

Olivia Arthur Watching TV at home. *A print of the image has been rephotographed under a reflective light to partially conceal identity. Jeddah. Saudi Arabia. 2009 © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos

Developing Personal Projects: Two-day Masterclass with Olivia Arthur and Bieke Depoorter

Magnum Photos is proud to present a new two-day masterclass in Hong Kong led jointly by Magnum members Olivia Arthur and Bieke Depoorter and focused on developing in-depth personal projects.

In the tradition of Magnum’s commitment to emerging photographers, this exclusive masterclass will give limited participants a rare opportunity to refine their photographic practice and sense of authorship under the guidance of two outstanding photographers at the same time.

The two-day event will incorporate inspirational presentations, portfolio critiques, peer-to-peer discussions and an overnight shooting assignment developed in collaboration with Olivia and Bieke and group participants. Participants will then produce new work in response to this brief, showcasing the work for review the following day.

Each participant will be asked to bring with them a portfolio and ongoing project on which they will be given advice and guidance on how they can push the work and their practice forward. Critiques will be conducted amongst masterclass groups, encouraging confidence building skills and the ability to communicate projects, as well as engaging peer-to-peer feedback sessions. Participants will have plenty of time for questions, book signings and to discuss specific aspects of photography and the industry.

“It’s always good to have several opinions on one body of work. A story can be approached in many different ways, and I think it’s good to have an open discussion about how to proceed with both of us together. I love to approach photography as a conversation and I am happy we can do this all together very soon.”
– Bieke Depoorter

“I love doing workshops together with another photographer, it really broadens the perspective and discussion. On this workshop Bieke and I will be working together to talk about portfolios and assignments. We’ll be bouncing ideas off each other and generating discussions about each body of work giving students more to think about.”
– Olivia Arthur

As part of this event, Bieke and Olivia will lead a public talk open to the public on April 28, 1.30pm at UMAG Drake Gallery.

Masterclass participants will automatically have a seat reserved and others can book online here:

Bieke Depoorter Agata. Paris. France. 2017. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

Where & When

The event is held at UMAG, Lung Fu Shan, Bonham Rd, 90號號, Hong Kong
April 28 & 29, 2018, 9.30am until 6pm


The workshop will be held in English.


Early Bird offer on applications before 1 April 2018: £500 (plus tax where appropriate)
Standard: £550 (plus tax where appropriate).
Prices include lunch.

Terms and Conditions apply. See the the bottom of this page for more information.

Selection and Requirements

Workshop participants should be able to show a good level of photographic aptitude and a desire to learn. Candidates will be expected to arrive comfortable with their equipment and ready to photograph. The masterclass is limited to 15 participants and photographers will be selected on the perceived benefit to their career and development.

Photographers should prepare sufficient research relating to what they wish to shoot before arrival and send it to the tutors. A story list can be provided for inspiration; however candidates are expected to formulate realistic projects in the geography and time supplied. Magnum will provide a suitable classroom infrastructure and participants will be responsible for their own time management.

Due to the fast pace of the masterclass Magnum highly recommends that participants produce and edit their work digitally, using their own laptops.


Click here to register for this masterclass.
Deadline for applications April 15th

Olivia Arthur Young dancer Freya shows some of her moves in her bedroom. Hull. England. GB. 2017. © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos
Olivia Arthur Raven photographed in the Old Town in Hull. Hull. England. GB. 2017. © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos

About the Photographers

Olivia Arthur

Olivia was born in London and grew up in the UK. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi and was based in India for two and a half years. In 2006, she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and the East-West cultural divide. This work has taken her to the border between Europe and Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. She has received support from the Inge Morath Award, the National Media Museum, OjodePez-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values.

In 2010, she co-founded Fishbar, a space for photography in London with Philipp Ebeling.

Her first book Jeddah Diary, about young women in Saudi Arabia, was published in 2012.
She continues to return to India – where her long-term work has been supported by a grant from the Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardère in Paris – and to work in London where she lives.

Bieke Depoorter

Bieke Depoorter was born in 1986 in Kortrijk, Belgium. She received a Master’s Degree in Photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. Her early colour photography work is the result of a unique approach: she captures the privacy of people whom she meets by chance and she gets to invite her into their homes. She captures indescribable, fragile and intense moments, always with kindness.

For her Ou Menya series, the young artist travelled for three months in Russia, to remote villages, guided by the Trans-Siberian Railway. This work won her several awards, including the Magnum Expression Award in 2009. Her first book, Ou Menya, was published by Lannoo (Belgium) in 2011. Her long-term project entitled I am about to call it a day was jointly published in 2014 by Edition Patrick Frey (Switzerland) and Hannibal (Belgium). In 2017 Depoorter finalized her first shortmovie entitled Dvalemodus.

As it may be is Depoorter’s newest book, published by Aperture, Editions Xavier Barral and Hannibal, where she photographs in the intimacy of Egyptian families.

When she was just 25 years old, she joined the Magnum agency, of which she became a nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016.

Bieke Depoorter Cario. Egypt. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter Egypt. 2013. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

Terms and Conditions

  • All fees must be paid within seven days of acceptance, or you will forfeit your space.
  • The fee does not include transport, accommodation or ground expenses. International participants are responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case the workshop is cancelled. We highly recommend that you buy refundable tickets and/or travel insurance.
  • Refund policies will be emailed with an acceptance letter.
  • If a participant decides to cancel for whatever reason, it must be confirmed in writing:
  • Magnum Photos will reimburse all the registration costs except for £80 administrative fee, if the participant informs Magnum Photos of cancellation at least 14 days before the first day of the workshop. Beyond this time limit, Magnum Photos will charge the following: 50% of the cost if canceled between 6 and 20 days before the workshop commences. 100% of the cost if canceled less than five days before the workshop commences.
  • All workshops that are commenced but not completed through the fault of either the contractor/or participant need to be paid in full.
  • Participants are expected to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation; a list of suitable accommodation options will be provided to successful candidates.
  • There are a limited number of spaces on the workshop. Students will be selected based on the work they have submitted during their registration.
  • Magnum Photos reserves the right to cancel groups with less than 9 participants. Students will be given either a full refund or offered a place with an alternative photographer. In the event of a cancellation, students will be given at least eight days notice.
  • Magnum Photos reserves the right to change or alter the program advertised.


For enquiries relating to this project please email Colin Lau, Educational Coordinator:

This event is organized thanks to the generous support of the University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong.

Olivia Arthur A woman lies on the table in the dinning room of the women's prison. Tbilisi. Georgia. 2006. © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter I Am About To Call It a Day. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

About UMAG

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of The University of Hong Kong was founded in 1953 as the Fung Ping Shan Museum. Originally established as the Fung Ping Shan Library of Chinese language publications in 1932 in honour of its benefactor, the building became a museum dedicated to collecting Chinese art when the University’s libraries consolidated. The museum was renamed UMAG in 1994, shortly before its new wing was opened to the public in 1996. It is the oldest continuously operated museum in Hong Kong and over the past sixty years it has built up a diverse collection of ceramics and bronzes dating from the Neolithic period (c. 7000–c. 2100 BCE) to the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), as well as traditional and modern paintings from the Ming (1368–1644) to the twenty-first century.

Chief among the collections are the Museum’s ceramics, which show the extraordinary achievements of the Chinese potter from Neolithic period painted pottery jars, to the decorative porcelains of the Qing dynasty.

In addition to these permanent collections, UMAG regularly hosts exhibitions of contemporary and ancient Chinese and Western art, as well as on early Hong Kong history.

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