Bhutan, Land of Legends, Mists and the Mystical
a fine arts photography book
by carolyn m. angus
BHUTAN DRUK YUL or Land of the Thunder Dragon
Bhutan is a tiny, sequestered and economically challenged Himalayan kingdom nestled between its powerful ally India, and China. It's population of 700,000 is sparse and physically scattered by its daunting terrain. It's about 100 miles wide by 200 miles long.
After centuries of self-imposed isolation, in 1974 Bhutan opened it's gates to visitors receiving 287 visitors! Bhutan is straddling both worlds. One side is gallantly trying to preserve the cultural past while gracefully stepping forward into the future. T.V. and the Internet made it's legal debut in 1999, the last country in the world to do so. Monks can now transcribe ancient religious documents by computers. Roads extend from the west to the east. Cell phones reach the most remote village. Archers hone their skills with the latest high tech bow! Two more airports have just been built.
This photography book strives to capture and visually preserve the culture and people of Bhutan before it vanishes into the mists of time.
“Tibi ipsi esto fidelis – to thine own self be true". This challenging lifetime mantra impacts my images, creating complexity and authenticity. Photography is the food on which I feast; it nurtures my creative soul. It is my raison d"etre. Genetically I've been blessed with artistic genes. The greatest influence upon my photography was my time spent in The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. As a young girl, I attended a boarding school which had mandatory walks even during freezing-cold blizzards! Many afternoons were spent absorbing the works of Rembrandt,The Impressionists,Turner,Van Gogh,The Group of Seven and Emily Carr. Powerful composition drew the viewer magnetically into the painting; the subtleties or dramatic lighting created mood be it stormy or mystical. Turner and Van Gogh's passionate use of vivid colours still infuse and inspire me. "Bodacious Burano" is born out of that fire. I become emerged, elated and energized in the joy and power of primary colours.