Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thomas Laird's photos make Tibet's hidden murals accessible to the world

By Carey Dunne
A detail from the murals in the Dalai Lamas’ private meditation chapel, painted circa 1700, depicting yogis in 23 yoga positions, titled “The Secret Keys of the Channels and Winds.” (all images courtesy of Thomas Laird and the Wellcome Collection and used with permission)
UNITED KINGDOM---On an island in a pond behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet sits the Lukhang Temple, or “Temple to the Serpent Spirits,” a secret meditation space created by the Dalai Lama in the 17th century. For hundreds of years, this temple was closed to anyone but the Dalai Lama himself. Now, though, images of these long-hidden murals are accessible the world over, thanks to American photographer Thomas Laird, who in the spring of 1986 was the first to ever shoot inside this sacred chamber. [link]