12 Februar 2019, 16–18 Uhr ct, Hörsaal B
Kunsthistorisches Institut, Ostasiatische Kunstgeschichte
Koserstr. 20, 14195 Berlin
News vom 20.01.2019
The unique book, Murals of Tibet presents the world’s first life size images of whole Tibetan wall murals, created by Thomas Laird, with commentary and captions by Dr Robert Thurman, Dr Heather Stoddard and Jakob Winkler. Since 1986 Laird studied the finest surviving murals across the Tibetan Plateau; developed new methods for creating images of them and explored the narratives behind them. That work resulted in several books about Tibetan history and murals. In culmination, between 2009 and 2018, Laird developed new site specific, post-photographic, multi-image capture and render methods to create hyper resolution images, revealing every detail of a mural, even fingerprints from the original artists. When an 11th century mural is 3 x 10 meters, Laird’s image of it is the same size. Laird’s images in the book are not photographs as we know them and were impossible to create prior to the digital revolution of the 21st century. His “Planar or Spherical panoramic gigapixel images” allow access to even the smallest detail of a large mural, through many platforms. It’s normally impossible, in Tibet, to view these murals so clearly. While the book contains images of 120 different murals, Laird’s archive contains images of more than 300 murals: a first representative collection of the greatest surviving murals on the Tibetan Plateau. Two museums exhibitions—one in London had 120,000 visitors in 90 days and the other in NYC is on permanent display-- have been devoted to large format, life size, prints of three murals from this archive.
During his presentation on February 12 in Berlin Laird will present and discuss his publication: only 998 copies of this XL format book have been printed. He will also discuss the mission of his archive, its access, conservation and use by scholars, monks, museums, and the public, as well as use in a “commentary project” about the mural narratives. Four new exhibitions are under discussion today with curators in Washington DC, New Orleans, Tokyo, London and Paris. The new exhibitions will include fine art life size prints, immersive projection mapping installations, as well as video and VR installations. In Berlin Laird will present a VR of a room of wall murals, as well as project mural images.
Throughout his presentation Laird will address current and historical Tibetan, Indian and European ideas about Buddhist murals. He will also touch upon the history of the Wunderkammer, the fate of specific Buddhist murals in Europe, (such as the Bezeklik murals brought to Europe by Albert von Le Coq once displayed in the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin), in Asia (Bamiyan) and the dialogue between his work and this history.
American photographer, artist and writer Thomas Laird has explored the art, culture, and history of the Himalayas since 1972. Based in Nepal for three decades, his reporting and photography have been published globally by TIME, Geo, Stern, Newsweek, Le Figaro, National Geographic, and many others. His nonfiction books include a history of Tibet written with the Dalai Lama, translated into 14 languages including German. From 2008, he has created the world’s first life-size images of enormous Tibetan wall murals. Fine art prints of these works have been the focus of exhibitions in London and New York, and are held in both public and private collections. In 2018 Murals of Tibet were published by TASCHEN.
Der Vortrag findet in Koperation mit dem Ethnologischen Museum, Staatliche Museeen zu Berlin statt.