Thursday, May 28, 2009

Art appreciation

As some of you know, I spent about four years travelling around India and Nepal, and about two of those were following HH the Dalai Lama to his many places of teaching and discourse throughout India.

Nowadays, some wags probably consider that stalking. There was a day when it was considered pilgrimage. That's what you do with saints, in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition. Saints don't stay in one place, they keep travelling. You follow them around.

Anyway, some of my favourite moments were in and around the teaching sites, where "Life's Rich Pageant" coalesces.

This photo was taken one morning in 2006 at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh at the Central Institute of Tibetan Higher Studies, where everyone was queuing for the metal detector to get into teachings.

Last week, I received some Art Appreciation from a Flickr user named East Med Wanderer:

Great shot! All life is there - it has the quality of composition of one of the great master painters. And with a point and shoot - terrific!

Sometimes that's all it takes to make your day, or week. One of the great master painters probably would include the entire face of the purple-wearing woman at left, though - for compositional balance. That way, there would be two women facing each outside corner.

I can no longer post the larger versions of the photos - they kept getting stolen off the blog site. You can view (but not right-click) a larger version here.

5 comments:

John said...

Not a criticism at all, but I found the comments on the linked larger version hilarious. ;)))

Five of eight mention beggars.

The "generic baby beggar" made me burst in laughter (in a good way).

John said...

Ah, now I get East Med Wanderer's analogy about "the quality of composition of one of the great master painters".
The Beggar Sadhu in the middle is Jesus... ;)))

Sudarshan Gopalakrishnan said...

Truly, amazing photo. I dont have better words to describe it!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

What a great photo! The composition is very dutch master, except yours is has the luminous quality of daylight! I can easily imagine this image painted stylistically. The loose flowing drapiness of the clothing in the foreground enhances the composition.

How did the photo happen? I ask, because great photos happen more often than are composed.

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

@Another Kiran:
Lining up for security clearance is a standard part of seeing the DL. I always enjoyed the Pilgrim's Progress type microverse around him as much as the teachings themselves.

Most good pictures in my experience come from taking a step back, disengaging directly for a moment and looking at the situation from a slight (not completely disinterested) distance. Does that describe it?... just, stepping back a few and taking in a larger frame. Hope that makes sense.