MATTHIEU RICARD

LAROUNGAR MONASTERE TIBETAIN

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The artist

“Matthieu's camera and his spiritual life are one, and from this spring these images, fleeting and eternal. Henri-Cartier Bresson. Matthieu Ricard was born in France in 1946. Since 1967, he lived in Himalayas to study Tibetan Buddhism and is the French interpreter of the Dalai Lama since 1989. He lives in Nepal at Shechen Monastery and devotes much of his time to the preservation of Tibetan cultural heritage. Matthieu Ricard has photographed the spiritual masters, landscapes, and people of the Himalayans over the last forty-five years and published several albums of photography including, in English, Journey to Enlightenment (Aperture, 1996), Buddhist Himalayas (Harry Abrams, 2002), Dancers Monks of Tibet (Shambhala, 2003), Tibet, an Inner Journey (Thames and Hudson, 2006), Motionless Journey (Thames and Hudson, 2007) and Bhutan, a Land of Peace (Thames and Hudson, 2008). His work have been exhibited in New York, Paris, Perpignan, Winthertur, Stockholm and Hong Kong and reviewed in the New York Times and other magazines throughout the world.  ... See more See less

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“I use photography as a source of hope, which restores confidence in human nature and revives our awe at the natural world around us.”

MATTHIEU RICARD

About the artwork

This image was taken in Larung Gar, the largest Buddhist community in the world located in the Serthar county in the west of Sichuan province. At an altitude of 4 200 metres, hidden on the high Tibetan plateaus, this influential site whose existence is controversial today, accommodates 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 through the thousands of wooden and iron rooftops. From a small gathering of about a dozen people in 1980, its numbers have swelled to an immense size 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 sudden 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

31 March 2017

Artwork subject

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