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234 × 156 mm
256 pages
91 illustrations
01 Nov 1999
Envisioning Asia
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In the Image of Tibet Tibetan Painting after 1959 Clare Harris

Taking the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet in 1959 as its starting point, this book offers a unique interpretation of the ways in which the idea of Tibet has been imagined by Tibetan artists in exile in India and in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Based on the results of six years of fieldwork, during which Clare Harris interviewed and photographed Tibetan artists at work, this book shows how Tibet – real, remembered and imagined – came to be envisioned anew.

‘Clare Harris’s wonderful Photography and Tibet is part of the Reaktion Books Exposures series, which provides introductions to the history of photography related to specific themes and regions. Photography and Tibet accomplishes this in providing a much-needed introduction to the history of photography in Tibet and surrounding regions of the Himalayas. However, Harris gives us much more, as along with this historical overview, she reveals how the history of photography in Tibet can also be seen as the history of the way Tibet has been imagined beyond its borders by Westerners, Chinese, and others, and how this imagining has directly influenced colonial engagement with Inner Asia and the Himalayas.’ – Trans Asia Photography Review

In the Image of Tibet is the first major study of the fate of Tibetan art since the Chinese occupation and colonization of Tibet. In a richly detailed analysis, Clare Harris provides a fascinating portrait of Tibetan art produced in two parallel, but connected, worlds: the world of Tibetan refugee painters living in exile and the world of Tibetan painters who remain in Tibet, and she explores the problems encountered in crossing from one world into another. Harris has written an important book that will be of great interest to students of Asian art, history and religion’ – Donald S. Lopez, University of Michigan

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Clare Harris is a Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Oxford and a curator at the Pitt-Rivers Museum.