At 3,500 meters, in the high-altitude desert of Ladakh (Northwest India), lies the world-famous Buddhist monastery of Alchi, home to thousands of rare and incomparable paintings and sculptures that date back to 11th-century Western Tibet. The temple site was proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1998. It provides fascinating insights into the spiritual and secular life of medieval Kashmir and Western Tibet with artworks revealing influences from India and Tibet across Central Asia and Iran as far as ancient Greece.
In the late 1980’s almost all documentation and on-site research work at Alchi was stopped by the authorities. It was only in 2017, after nearly 40 years of trying, requesting and applying, that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama himself, along with his brother, the Venerable Ngari Rinpoche, bestowed the German researcher, book author and photographer Peter van Ham and his co-author, the renowned Tibetologist Amy Heller, with the never-before extended special permission to comprehensively document all parts of the premises of Alchi.
In his multi-visional lecture Peter recounts the fascinating story of this unique documentation furnished with a special camera in the highest digital resolution available, provides a fresh look at the emergence and meaning of many of Alchi’s masterpieces, and offers insights into spectacular new findings gained from decades of deciphering the complicated inscriptions found on the temple walls, all of which is sumptuously presented in his new book ALCHI – TREASURE OF THE HIMALAYAS.
Thursday, April 18; 7-9PM | General:$25/Members:$22.50 – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Peter van Ham, German researcher, author, photographer, filmmaker, and curator, since 30 years, focuses on the Himalayas, India and Tibet for his internationally successful work. He is credited with many path-breaking publications on the arts and cultures of both the Western and the Eastern Himalayas, and was among the first to travel and do extended fieldwork in regions, which had been inaccessible for up to sixty years before he was given extra special permissions by the highest authorities for his ventures. His research activities were honored by fellowships in the Royal Asiatic and Royal Geographical Societies, London, as well as the Explorers Club, New York. In Frankfurt/Germany Peter chairs the charitable Society for the Preservation and Promotion of Asian Culture (SPAH).