Tibetan folksongs sometimes sing of beyul - hidden lands that can only be seen by those of pure heart and mind. Tucked into the towering peaks and steeply forested valleys of the Eastern Himalayas, the Bhutanese believe their country to be such a place.
Bhutan: Hidden Lands of Happiness is a geographical and cultural passage from the yak pastures along the Tibetan border to the rice lands in central Bhutan. Guiding the reader through the districts of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gasa, Laya, Lunana, Wangdi, Bumthang and Trongsa, the book reveals remote hot springs and isolated hermitages and ends in the streets and nightclubs of the country s capital, Thimphu Town. 108 black and white images narrated with stories, journal entries, folklore, dharma teachings and oral history create a portal across centuries. Clear, skillfully composed and rich in depth and detail, these flawless images illustrate an intimate tale of Bhutan told by an artist who is deeply familiar with his subject.
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Born in Chicago, educated at Notre Dame, John Wehrheim's dabbled CV reads like a career consultant's nightmare -- the professional dilettante: writer, photographer, journalist, commercial diver, teacher, fisherman, farmer, unemployment insurance professional, cannabis sativa horticulturalist, contractor, land developer, hydropower consultant, utility engineer. While black water diving through drilling mud in the sewers of Honolulu, John decided to get back into photography. He specializes in exotic locations with beautiful women.Review:
...brilliant photographs and evocative text. I can't imagine a better portrait of this amazing country. - Paul Theroux
Beautiful book . . . The photographs are fine and the text is full of good detail, lively and intriguing and well-written... - Peter Matthiessen --Paul Theroux and Peter Matthiessen
This coffee-table journey through Druk Yul, as the Tibetans know their lucky southern neighbour - Land of the Thunder Dragon - is a terrific collection of photographs and traditional lore woven into John Wehrheim's engaging travelogue.
The American - who unabashedly lists cannabis sativa horticulturalist among his prior occupations, thus proving that former potheads can indeed produce works of art - has visited Bhutan several times over the past 15 years, primarily as a consulting hydrologist, and he's seen pretty much all of it the hard way, on foot.
Wehrheim's text represents a very personal account of wending his way across the interior, meeting the locals and listening to their stories. It is straightforward, but can't help but be compelling given the beautifully illustrated landscape and the rural realities of living in it. He is also as good a writer as he is a photographer, at once vivid, meditative and playfulBut amid the fun and good cheer, Wehrheim is careful not to romanticise Bhutan too much.
All the photos in this book are black and white. Certainly the tones serve the documentary maker well and give the portraits inarguable nobility, but I would have loved to see the landscape in colour. Apart from that tiny murmur of dismay, this is a wonderful book - for anyone who's visited Bhutan and for those who see it in their dreams. --The Nation Newspaper, Thailand
You may be jet-setting Bhutanese official, a world-weary expat, or a newcomer planning your first trip -- no matter who you are, you will discover images and stories in Bhutan: Hidden Lands of Happiness that will surprise you, delight you, and give you a glimpse of the secret corners of a country and culture never before revealed.
Each chapter presents a place carefully detailed in portraits and landscapes -- scenes set against a backdrop of history, myth, architecture, and memory as told through the lives of the people who live there. One hundred and eight photographs, gathered from 1991 to 2006 and narrated with journal entries, folklore, dharma teachings, and oral history, create a portal across the centuries. Not a travelogue but a lyrical work of creative non-fiction, this book is an intimate tale told by an artist deeply familiar with his subject. The book reads like fiction with an added dimension of characters and settings illustrated with outstanding images -- clear, skillfully composed, and rich in depth and detail.
The author traveled with the Crown Prince, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, now Bhutan's fifth king, on his tours of Wangdi, Trongsa, and Bumthang. We learn the untold story of how, in 2003, his father the fourth king fought and won Bhutan's 'war against terror'; in just three days, with little loss of life.
The book ends with a look at Bhutan's relationship with its giant neighbours, India and China, telling the stories of the 'Indian Chicken Man' Bhutan's struggle with globalization and 'God Bets Buddha', a saga told by Tashi, a Tibetan refugee who escaped to Bhutan.
In the author's own words, the book has '... tried to present a vision of a people consciously living in the realms of both the spiritual and the material worlds. Bhutan is a land like no other yet a part of our world. There's a saying among expatriates working in Thimphu, 'Bhutan could become just like any other country but no other country could be like Bhutan.'' --Tashi Delek Magazine
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Descripción SERINDIA. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería VARBDSM12JUL-3819
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