Astor Place, NYC 2014
 
Angel on the roof, St. Petersburg 2012
Helsinki, Finland, 2012
 
Tea plantation, India 2011
 
Meenakshi Amman Temple, India 2011
 
Manali, India 2011
 
Golden Temple, Amritsar, India 2011
 
Golden Temple at night, Amritsar, India 2011
 
Golden Temple, Amritsar, India 2011
 
Over Manhattan Bridge, NYC 2010

 

 

Kejimkujik National Park, Canada 2010

 

 

Border of Egypt and Jordan, 2010
 
Mt. Sinai, Egypt 2010
 
Karnak, Luxor, Egypt, 2010
 
Over the Valley of Kings, Luxor, Egypy 2010
 
snowday
Prospect Park, New York 2009
 
unicorn escape
The missing unicorn, New York 2009
 
snow storm
Prospect Park, New York 2009
 
sky lace
Lace in the sky, 2009
 
Outside Serra Monastery, Tibet 2006

 

 

When I came up the little hill and saw this amazing view, I said to myself: the greatest thing happens at the most banal moments. One morning of the summer, 2006, I got on the bus before dawn at the main square which was heading to yet another monastery complex 4 hours outside of Lhasa. The temple was beautiful and I was able to “wander” into the monks’ dormitory and had a glimpse of their “real life.” Now with half an hour to kill before the bus departing at the town square below the monastery, I rambled outside the temples. Wild flowers grew on the hillside. I moved up the hill as I picked along the flowers. There I stood and beheld. I was astounded by the immense space and landscape before me. I had climbed up many mountains and volcanoes with promising views but not one compared to this. The colors and the shades transformed by the changing clouds; no camera could do it just. And yet it came so effortlessly, so unexpectedly. I could only woe moments like this are too rare. If we know what to ask and it is given, but the Buddha said, we don’t know what we ask and it is still given.

 
Serra Monastery, Tibet 2006
 

I rested on one of these rooftops in the monastery complex, 4 hours outside of Lhasa. The morning sun in this barren land was so bright. And when the ray hit the temples' roof gilded with gold, the reflection was blinding. I loved the sun even more in this cold land. And the peasants down below the hill must love it too. They had come out from their mud houses. How humble were their houses! They looked like sand castles built by children. And yet it was these men and women built this temple complex. They must look up to it as it were a paradise and sent their sons up here. You could see its golden light miles away. But the monastery was so quiet compared to the town square. There were a few workers fixing the walls and one who was carving a woodblock next me. Where were the monks hiding? I wondered. As a tourist attracted by holiness, I came with the hope of gaining the words of wisdom that would radically transform my mundane life. Yet on this highlands so closed to the sun, I saw this young Tibetan man carving a small wood block meticulously. He had carved a stack of them with the same motif, which later would be sold for a few dollars to the tourists. And I love that. I love what I saw, every bits of it.

 
Tibetan highland from Train, 2006
 
XinJiang, Western China, 2006
 
gobi desert
Gobi Desert from train, China, 2006

 

 

It was a 36-hours of train ride across China’s northern land where the Gobi desert lied. The train was so crowded that you had to walk over people to get to the bathrooms. And sure enough you would find a whole family sleeping in the bathrooms too. You had to have the heart to wake them up and drove them out to get the door closed behind you. But it could not compare to what was outside of the window. Outside was Mars. The desert looked eerily beautiful. The wind was so strong that a crack in the window made the sand flew in like darts. So we all agreed to breathe hundreds of people’s sweat than to get our eyeballs pinched. But the most eerie moment was seeing a factory town passing in the desert. (Point cursor over the image) For over hours train ride there was not a building, a being, or a plant in view and suddenly there was a factory block covered in white dust and not a soul there. Who were the people sent to build these buildings and what was it for? Were there still people living in them. It looked abandoned, but I could be fooled. And there was no other transportation other than this train that came once a day. The image flew by and left me with questions and horror. I remember seeing a wild dog passing in a desert. It was terribly thin and frail but I imaged it being free. If I had to choose between being that wild dog and a worker in this factory. . .

 
GuiLin City, Southern China, 2006
JiuZaiGou (Nine Villages Valley) South-West China, 2006
 
Nikko, Japan 2006
 

Whenever it’s drizzling, I remember Nikko, a small town two hours from Tokyo by train. From the small humble train station, it’s a long way going up the hills. There is a bus, but it’s better to walk. To enter the sacred shrines you must first pass through the secular town. Along the way you can admire the miniature gardens by the front of the bars and shops. Ceramic frogs dress in samurai outfit around a pond the size of a bowl. Everything has that Japanese cuteness. You must learn to love the mundane and the artificial, before you meet the deities. When you cross the red bridge by the waterfall, you’re on the road to the temples. The gritty road is straight and wide with huge trees on both sides. At the far end of the road the temples are like pearls in the dark woodland. The men in the white kimono are workers tending the temples. They look like white ghosts wandering in the woods. And the rain makes the trees smell so good. Indeed you should only go to Nikko when it is drizzling. The rainwater running in the aqueducts makes a delicious sound. How quiet is Nikko in the rain. Hardly a bird cries out. The sun hides behind thick trees. The black stone paths are dark and wet. The whole place is deep asleep. That is when the deities come out. You must be very still and patient to spot them in the form of a fox, a chipmunk, or a butterfly. The temples are made of gold. You have to take off your shoes and enter silently. There I sat facing the golden Buddha whose smile as if saying, what have made you come such a long way into this world? I heard my heart swelling up and I burst into tears and joy.

 
Taconic State Pkwy, New York 2008