Renowned photographer and film director Eric Valli was born in 1952 in Dijon, eastern France. He originally trained as a cabinet-maker, but has spent most of his career working on the relationship between man and nature. Since 1981 Eric has captured on camera some of the most inaccessible locations in the world, working for titles such as National Geographic, Life, GEO, Paris Match, Stern and Smithsonian magazines, and The Sunday Times of London.
Eric specializes in mountain scenery and is an expert on the Himalayas, in particular Nepal, Tibet and Afghanistan. In 1987, his photo story Honey Hunters – documenting the cliff-climbing Gurung tribesmen of west-central Nepal – won a World Press Award. In 1990 Eric shot Shadow Hunters, which captures the gathering of birds’ nests for soup in a vast cave in western Thailand. The film received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary.
In 1999 he directed the adventure story Himalaya – a tale of survival in the mountain region – which became the first Nepalese film to receive an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film. Eric has published 14 books to date, including in 2006 The Sky Will Be My Roof, a memoir of adventure and travel. In total, his photography has been recognized with three World Press Awards. In addition he has shot commercial work for Hermès and Louis Vuitton.
In 2012 he directed the film Himalayan Gold Rush (co-produced by state broadcaster China Central Television), which was seen by 600 million viewers in China alone. For his most recent project Living Yangtze – he portrayed the river through the people living in harmony with it, in conjunction with Swarovski – Eric spent six months along the world’s third largest waterway.
An exhibition accompanied the launch of this in 2015 at Photo Shanghai, ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Milan Expo and at COP21 in Paris.