As light moves, shadows shift and practitioners of an ancient faith pray, reflect and persevere amidst exquisite symbols and iconography.
These images were created during several visits to Bhutan and represent an ongoing voyage of discovery and creative exploration. The temple complexes known as dzongs are historically and architecturally significant, visually rich, and radiate power and mystery but first and foremost, they serve as vital and revered centers of pilgrimage, prayer and meditation. The timeworn surfaces of wood, stone, metal and cloth provide temporal constancy and ancestral connections for generations of devotees and a lush visual landscape for the visitor.
I respond to the quiet textural nuances of light, the movement of the wind, the subtle ancient iconography, or the fluid motion of choreographed dancers. These elements weave a rich and immersive experience for me, and an essential religious and cultural context for the viewer. Picture making provides a reason to explore distant environs and to absorb the culture and engage with its people, while the final photographs are reaffirmations of these experiences and of its people seeking to reconcile ancient traditions with conflicting modern values.
About Richard Murai
After thirty-five years teaching photography in California’s Central Valley, Richard Murai now lives in Monterey, California, and continues to passionately pursue his artmaking. His ongoing fascination with world religion and culture has generated repeated visits to sacred sites within Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, Russia, and South America.
Richard’s work has been exhibited widely, has garnered awards from All About Photo, Center for Photographic Art, Spider Awards and Travel Photographer of the Year, and have been featured in respected publications including B&W Magazine, Silver Shots International, Shots, Photographer’s Forum and multiple issues of Lenswork print and special editions. His photographs are included in private and corporate collections and are represented by the Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA. He shares his passion for photography and world travel via his overseas workshops. [Official Website]