"Series 1"

"Images of The Mystical Land"

Tibet Autonomous Region, China

Tibet Autonomous Region, China

Mr. Yau-Sun Tong

(the photographer wishes apologize for the terrible loss of image details and colors in these photographs
during the low resolution scanning into the website from the high quality original slides)

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Mystical Potala Palace Land of Buddhism
Pilgrimage Devoted Pilgrim
Children of Pilgrim Lamasery
Rainy Day in Lhasa Color Combination
Village at Dusk Grazing Land
Sacred Lake Yak - Soul of Tibetan Plateau
Chicago Bullls of Lhasa Children of Herdsmen
By a Mountain Stream By a Yak Dung Pile
Tibetan Woman Tibetan Lama
Market Delight Village Rug Weaver
Prairie Tibetan Stupa
Shepherd in Eastern Tibet A Peasent's House
Field Work Highland Barley & Tibetan Child
Pasture By LinZhou Country
A Northern Tibetan A Tibetan Folksinger
Season of Festival Child in Tent
First Palace of Tibet YaLun Valley - Southern Tibet
Season of Harvest A Little Shepherd
Iron Horse as well Tibetan Costume
Tibetan Girl - DroMa Worshipper in Lhasa
A View of Lhasa River Day of Celebration
Monastery Morn Debating with Snow
Good Pal Comfort at Home
Family of Three

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The Sacred Lands of Mystery

Early in this century, the Swedish geographer and adventurer Sven Hedin had this to say about Tibet in his Hinterland of Asia: "Until January 1907, we knew as little about this part of the planet as about the other side of the moon."  Today, man has set foot on the moon, and the veil over Tibet has been lifted.  And yet, Tibet remains the most mystical of places for many.

Tibet's mystery is derived in part from its geological structure. Covering 2.5 million square kilometres with a population of about 2.4 million, it has the lowest population density in China.  During the Tertiary period, what is now Tibet was submerged by the Ancient Mediterranean Sea.  During the famous orogeny of the Himalayas, the seabed rose and eventually formed the Tibetan Plateau known as "The Roof of the World".  The average altitude of Tibet is 4,000m, and there are five mountain peaks over 8,000m and 50 mountains with heights of over 7,000m. Not just a world of cold and solitude, Tibet is crisscrossed with rivers and lakes formed by the melting snow which nurture some of its fertile land.  It covers six different climatic zones ranging from subtropical to frigid.  With sharp contrast between majesty and tranquility, the lands of Tibet display a breathtaking beauty.

The mystery of Tibet even more so comes from its unique religious and cultural background.  From Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to the villages on the grassland and in the river valleys, one will find gilt-roofed lamaseries everywhere, appearing to give life to the world around them.  The mystery of Tibet lies in the satellite architectural structure of these lamaseries.  Seeing the flying five-colour Buddhist banners and the rising cooking smoke and hearing the sound of the Buddhist bugle and lamas chanting, one can not help wondering if one has entered a divine world.

Buddhism was introduced into Tibet in the 7th century.  It evolved into Tibetan Lamaism, a belief of the ordinary folk, Lamaism has created splendid religious art and culture that are a part of everyday life.

The well-preserved lamaseries scattered throughout Tibet represent the best of the plateau architecture.  Here people conduct religious rites and one can find numerous invaluable cultural relics.  One can often see pilgrims kowtowing and taking full prostration before taking each step of the long journey of pilgrimage.

Influenced by the high terrain and extreme climate as well as the distinctive religion and culture, the inhabitants of Tibet have formed a particular way of life, which has a mystical touch.  The colorful dress and ornament, the beautiful music and dances are all in harmony with the rhythm of their lives.  All these fascinate visitors to this land of mystery.

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Yau-Sun TongAbout the photographer

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