The Barakat Gallery is proud to present Thomas Laird’s Murals of Tibet: a limited-edition Taschen volume of only 998 copies, each signed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. A world heritage landmark, this 60 pound publication showcases the most precious surviving murals of Tibetan Buddhist culture. For the first time, these astonishing and intricate masterpieces can be appreciated in blazing color and life-size resolution. The book is a revelation for scholars and followers of Tibet as well as collectors of Tibetan art. In addition to viewing the book, attendees will be able to meet the creator Thomas Laird and listen to a brief presentation from Laird himself going over the book, it’s inspiration, and it’s laborious production.
A curated exhibition of 15 works of ancient Tibetan art and objects from the Barakat Collections in London and Hong Kong will be on display alongside the SUMO-sized volume, in addition to Thomas Laird’s two full size Art Edition prints. Depicting Buddha Shakyamuni, and Green Tara, from Gyantse Kumbum (ca. 1420). These hand-gilded large scale reproductions of the murals are printed on plaster in a handmade hardwood frame with 23.75-karat gold. With many of these limited Art Editions already pre-sold to private collectors, this is a rare and exciting opportunity to view them. The exhibit of Tibetan artifacts will transport viewers into the rich cultural history of Tibet and provide them with a diverse sampling of the exotic and refined aesthetic artistic tradition. On display will be a variety of beautifully detailed gilt bronze deity/bodhisattva sculptures, two extraordinary thangkas from the 17th/18th centuries, metal alloy chanting bowls from the 16th century, 19th century gold drinking cups and more.
For more than a decade, photographer Thomas Laird traveled the length, breadth, and far-flung corners of the Tibetan plateau to capture the spectacular Buddhist murals in all their sublime vastness and intricacy. In order to do justice to the murals’ artistry and convey details of their spiritual and psychological significance, Laird deployed new multi-image digital photography to capture the wall paintings at life-size resolution. This breathtaking publication assembles Laird’s portfolio in extra-large format with six fold-outs, printed in five colors including gold. Featuring both complete murals and copious details, it immerses readers in these precious, extraordinary masterpieces.
In recognition of this world heritage landmark and its preservation of Tibetan culture, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has signed all copies of the remarkable Collector’s Edition. Murals of Tibet is presented with a bookstand designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect and humanitarian Shigeru Ban as well as a 528-page companion book. In the scholarly compendium, Buddhist writer and academic Robert Thurman takes us through this transcendent journey with detailed text on the murals’ spiritual significance, while captions from Tibetan experts Heather Stoddard and Jakob Winkler shed light on the storylines and artistic context of each image. Now part of the collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, this book is at once a majestic art piece, a major milestone in the appreciation of Buddhism and a vital source for the contemplative arts and sciences.