MARCO GRASSI

WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME

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The artist

Born in northwest Italy, Marco Grassi is a young, self-taught photographer who had always dreamed of leading a life less ordinary, punctuated by adventures and memorable experiences. Several years later, his dream was realised as he travelled through all kinds of landscapes, to the four corners of the globe, from the most remote areas to overpopulated metropolises. His passion for travel photography emerged very early on, at the age of twenty, when he undertook a one-year expedition to New Zealand alone, to immerse himself in the wild. Two years later, camera in hand, he disembarked for China, where he travelled to Larung Gar in Sichuan province, the largest Buddhist community in the world and whose existence is now politically controversial. A talented artist, Marco has garnered numerous distinctions for his images, which are produced without the aid of retouching software. Firstly, in 2015, he won a National Geographic prize and the Outdoor Photographer of the Year Award, but also in 2016, where he received honours at the Magnum Photo Awards.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

This image produced in October 2015 was taken from the Italian photographer's series on Larung Gar, the largest Buddhist community in the world located in the Serthar county, in the west of the Sichuan province. At an altitude of 4 200 metres, hidden on the high Tibetan plateaus, this influential site, whose existence is controversial today, is home to more than 40 000 Buddhist monks, nuns and students. Larung Gar is a place outside of time and space, in which chaos and harmony coexist, with its thousands of wooden and iron rooftops. From a small gathering of about a dozen people in 1980, its numbers have swollen immensely thanks to the incredible organisation developed by its community over the years. However, it attracts harsh criticism from the Chinese authorities, who would like to be able to restrain its rapid growth, as 1 000 new huts are apparently built there each year. Given the major destruction of housing that is taking place in this region of the world, this captivating photograph bears witness both to religious freedom and to the violence of the world.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

28 October 2016

Artwork subject

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