Mountains of Eastern Tibet


Triptychs :

Mountains of Eastern Tibet

(2015)

The Chola range in Kham. Walking amidst isolated high valleys at the beginning of winter. The images evoke a perfect ‘land of the high mountains’. Shrouded by thin snow and mist, the masses stand as archetypes of the iconic mountain, which looms above the viewer, its massive presence in direct contact with the sky.

The pictures are made on medium format film, then digitalized. Giclée prints on fine art paper.

At first, the feeling is that of having left. Set in motion, we are walking towards a place imagined further, in each valley to be crossed, yet now only in our minds. Then, slowly, imperceptibly, the thoughts towards past and future give way to the feeling to be simply there.

A month walking in the Chola range [雀儿山] in Eastern Tibet / Western Sichuan. Hiking up high valleys, passing at the foot of towering rock masses, crossing windy passes in the clouds. Grass, wind, rocks, cold stream water. Fatigue helping, the direct contact of natural elements brings out an immediacy that heightens perception.

Week after week, the mind settles in. It ceases trying to control the environment or expect something. As the mountains remind us of their unpredictability, winter gets closer and already whitens the heights. Then, comes the desire to pay homage to these valleys full of the essence of untamed nature.

Express a graphic vision felt within the cradle of the mountains, and recreate through images an archetype of the mountain and of the high valley. Echo to an imaginary fed with tales, from Tolkien’s Taniquetil to the attempts of explorers to enter Tibet.

Having returned, we now feel the distance. Far from the rocks and mountains that were so close, we feel far from here too, as if part of oneself has remained in the high valleys. From here, the images now write themselves into this imaginary and, hopefully, enrich it in return.

When about to exit the valleys, the first shepherds met after four days offer us a cup of tea. Few words, but a sharing rich of the surrounding elements. It echoes what a friend told me when seeing these images : 山有灵 人有心 shan you ling, ren you xin. Mountains have a soul, Men have a heart. I also would like to pay homage to those living in these valleys, their smile and kindness.

Exhibition views — Pygmaphore gallery, Grenoble
Mountains of Eastern Tibet | 2016 | Projects | Comments (0)