A Precious Album for Dalai Lama’s 75th Birthday
A Journey of two dilettantes across an accupied
An American corporation International Photo & Video News, Inc., has released a unique photo album, in celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday. Only 10 copies have been released, the majority of which have already received buyers regardless of the announced 10,000 dollar price for each album. The album’s background is just as unique.
In May of 2010 a student from the University of North Florida, Anastassia Melnikoff and her father, a famous American photographer Dr. Sergey Melnikoff, traveled to Tibet to the holy Mt. Kailash. The journey was to experience the Buddhist Saga Dawa festival, a celebration of Buddha's Birthday that occurs during the full moon of that month. Sergey and Anastassia encumbered with special panoramic photo equipment, committed to completing the sacred 32-miles Kora around Mt. Kailash. During the whole expedition across Tibet, Sergey and his daughter continuously took pictures of the stunning scenery.
Melnikoff's Publisher required two additional months for the completion of the photo album “Tibet Today.” The carefully hand made work put into the 10 copies of the album add to its value and rarity. The album’s impressive size, 17 by 14 inches, allows every detail to stand out in the magnificent photographs. All the photo illustrations are printed on the thinnest canvas and pasted on the pages which are separated and protected by transparent paper made out of rice leaves. There are fifty wonderful photographs of Tibet, including portrait photography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his residents at Dharamsala in India.
The first page starts with the words: “This album is dedicated to the Tibetan-born Boy Tenzin Gyatso for his 75th birthday. Today, while preferring to be called a simple monk, he is respectfully known as His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.”
All the credits and rich ornaments are handmade by Tibetan artists in Nepal. The Buddhist themed screens are painted with true golden and silver paints. The authentic Buddhist Tanka inserted in the album. The hardcover is decorated with beautiful, colorful silk. All the colors are chosen by master craftsmen, making these albums truly valuable. The publication “Tibet Today” speaks volumes about the beauty of the people of former Tibet and their day to day lives in this still mysterious corner of the world. This book offers an profound insight into the unique world of beauty and way of life that exists in Tibet today.
Story by Tom Saville
for The Art Review Magazine, UK