Mountains of Eastern Tibet

Triptychs :

Mountains of Eastern Tibet


Mountains of Eastern Tibet was made while on a self-sustained month-long walk though the remote Chola mountain range in Kham. Walking amidst isolated valleys and crossing mountain passes at the beginning of winter, the images evoke a perfect ‘land of the high valleys’. Shrouded by thin snow and mist, the masses stand as archetypes of mountains, looming above the viewer, their massive presence in direct contact with the sky.

The series is constituted of 10 photographic works developed from high-res digitalized medium format film photographs shot on a 1940s Rolleiflex. Giclée prints on fine art paper.

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

A month walking in the Chola range in Eastern Tibet. Hiking up high valleys, passing at the foot of towering mountains, crossing windy passes in the clouds. Far from the constant noise of society, the mind settles in. It ceases trying to control the surroundings or expect something. Grass, wind, rocks. Cold stream water. Fatigue helping, the direct contact with natural elements brings out an immediacy that heightens perception.

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 and their untamed nature. Express a graphic vision felt within the cradle of the mountains, recreating an archetype of the land of the high valleys. Echo to an imaginary fed with tales, from Tolkien’s Taniquetil to the first attempts by explorers to enter the then forbidden 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 a part of oneself has remained in the high valleys. Watched from here, the images now write themselves into this imaginary and, hopefully, enrich it in return.

Upon exiting the last valleys, the first shepherds we meet offer us a cup of tea. They live isolated, far from downstream villages. Few words, but a sharing rich of the surrounding elements. These images also pay homage to the people of the high valleys, their authenticity and kindness.

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Exhibition views — Pygmaphore gallery, Grenoble, 2015 and DongGang International Photo Festival, Korea, 2023
Mountains of Eastern Tibet | 2016 | Projects | Comments (0)