Tibet Outside Tibet
Exhibition: “Tibet Outside Tibet a Photographer’s Journey through Tibet’s borderlands” by Luke Duggleby
5-28 November 2009
Serindia Gallery, OP Garden, Soi Charoenkrung 36
Phone: 02 238 6410
Modern cartography drastically simplifies the complexities of a region and none more so than Tibet. Through generations of governance by the People’s Republic of China, maps of the world feature Tibet as the Tibetan Autonomous Region or TAR.
Viewing a map it can be assumed that everything Tibetan exists within these penned boundaries. Yet all things Tibetan, its people, its culture, its languages exist in strength well beyond the boundaries of the TAR.
In India, Nepal and Bhutan, Tibetan culture crosses boundaries with little dilution. In China, Tibetan culture exists throughout the surrounding provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. In fact some say that the Tibetan culture in these peripheral provinces is stronger and more traditional. It is in these provinces that I discovered my Tibet.
My first venture was in Northwest Yunnan in 1999 and Sichuan in 2003, and over the years I return again and again to document Tibetan cultures
In this region – I circumambulated sacred Buddhist mountains, migrated to summer pastures with nomads, took the Body of Christ in Sunday Mass, crawled on my hands and knees searching for the elusive caterpillar fungus and stared down a valley in bewilderment at the millennia old salt terraces of Yanjing. This was my ‘Tibet’. Although I have never seen Lhasa or the Potala — maybe I never will, I have experienced ‘Tibet’ in its glory.
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