About the Book
The word Zen derives from the Chinese word ch'an, which in turn has its etymology in the Sanskrit word dhyana that refers to a mind absorbed in meditation. The root of dhya means “to see”, or “contemplate." It has its origins on the samurais of twelfth century China. Zen is an approach to religion, a form of Mahayana Buddhism that seeks spiritual enlightenment through meditation. Consequently, these vivid images chronicle mankind’s eternal search for that awareness. Where mythic time becomes the symbiosis between the realm of the secular and the divine.
Classical Zen gardens, like those at Daisen-in temple, have symbolism that can be easily interpreted as a metaphorical journey on the river of life. Others, like the ones at Ryōan-ji temple, resist simple interpretation. They were intended to emulate the intimate essence of nature, not its actual appearance, and as a result serve as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of life. The universal interpretations of religious beliefs and the sacred status of centuries old Zen art is what this esoteric oeuvre is all about.
This book includes 92 sublime color photographs that transcend their original documentary purpose and become timeless classics of our era; as well as, an illuminating text on the inspirational subject matter.
Héctor Méndez Caratini was born in San Juan, PR in 1949. During the past four decades the photographer and video artist has documented and promoted the cultural heritage of his nation. His artistic work has been exhibited in more than one hundred prestigious museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. His photographs are in the permanent collection of various museums. Such as: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX); International Center of Photography (New York, NY); Center for Creative Photography (Tucson) AZ; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, PR); Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, PR); among others. He has received numerous distinctions during his professional career, such as: the first Honorific Mention of the Casa de las Américas Photo Essay Prize, 1981, La Habana, Cuba; the Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award (Photographic Resource Center, B