Introduction by Consul B. John Zavrel
At the exhibition of photographs by Douglas Herman
Museum of European Art, Clarence New York, September 17, 2006
On the occasion of the visit of H.H. the Dalai Lama to Buffalo
NAMTSO, by Herman Douglas.
Ladies and Gentleman,
Dear friends of Art!
I welcome you to our exhibition "Tibet: The Land & its People". We show the impressive photographs by Douglas Herman. The exhibition is dedicated to Tibet. We are very thankful to Douglas Herman from New York City. This talented American photographer provided us with this documentation, which we show now on the occasion of the visit of H.H. the Dalai Lama to Buffalo.
At such an event as this, of great importancee are the artists. We are glad to have with us: the painters James Culligan and Eleanor Pauling, both from Canada.
But our interest in this exhibition is focused on the art of photography of Douglas Herman. Friends, we are very pleased to have the photographer with us. Douglas Herman, we like to welcome you with an applause.
This is not the place to discuss again in detail about what Tibet once was, what Tibet is now, and what Tibet should become in the future.
In the media and on Internet we find regularly articles and information about Tibet, which has been occupied by China for decades. And it has been known for a long time, how much the Tibetan people have suffered under the communist occupation. And it is also known, how peacefully and patiently the Dalai Lama has been engaged for human rights, liberty and also freedom for Tibet.
Unfortunately, Tibet is far away from us. Tibet does not have the political importance like Iraq and the Near East. Tibet does not get the international attention that terrorism gets. But Americans know--at least since the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, what danger and death mean. This helps us to get a better understanding of problems associated with wars and crimes against humanity around the world.
And we should not forget: Tibet and the historical culture of Tibetan Buddhism suffer day by day. In the fight for liberty, all peaceful people in the West should support all those living under oppression. Let me recall the fact that several Presidents of the United States, the late Pope John Paul II., leading German politicians, and also prominent celebrities like Richard Gere have met the Dalai Lama, and support his goals.
But what can we do? What can we as individuals do?
First of all, we must get interested in Tibet and in the fundamental problems of dictatorship and freedom. The terrorism shows us that "Danger is ante portas". That means: the United States are not as safe from aggression as we would like to believe.
Now back to the exhibition: the photographs help us get insight into and new knowledge about Tibet. The fantastic pictures of landscapes, architecture, people and religious life are not just a decorative documentation. They are already historical documents of what Tibet has been, and still is. At the same time, they are an appeal to politicians and all cultured people to help protect the rest, what has been left after the decades of Chinese communist occupation.
In addition to these breathtaking photographs, we will show during the exhibition two DVD's with many more images, which were photographed by Douglas Herman.
Ladies and gentlemen,
may I guide your attention to two other art works related to Tibet: one is the unique painting "H.H. the DALAI LAMA Triptych" by James Culligan from Canada.
The other painting is "MOUNT KAILASH" in the Himalayas, by Eleanor Pauling, also from Canada. The US Museum of European Art is very grateful to Mrs. Pauling for her donation of her painting to our Collection "The Treasure of the Dalai Lama".
An additional contribution comes from Bulgaria. Elisaveta Aleksandrova painted a portrait of His Holiness. Once more, we thank all the artists.
This exhibition has also a spiritual background. The Museum's engagement for Tibet was inspired by my personal meeting with the Tibetan TAKSTER RINPOCHE, also known as Prof. Thubten Jigme Norbu.
He is the elder brother of His Holiness. I did an interview with him some years ago, published on the Internet. Today I can convey to you all his best wishes on the occasion of this exhibition. Aged 84, the brother of the Dalai Lama was not able to join us, since he does not travel any more. But I am happy to say that his son JIGME NORBU is following in his father's footsteps, in the non-violent fight for freedom of Tibet. I met him two years ago, when we first planned this exhibition.
Last but not least: let me express my admiration and thanks to Mr. Larry Gerstein, President of the "International Tibet Independence Movement". He founded this organization in the United States with Takster Rinpoche.
Now, I would like to ask the artist Douglas Herman to tell us a bit about his photographs.
© PROMETHEUS 112/2006
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin - News, Politics, Art and Science. Nr. 112, October 2006