During the 1930s and 1940s the British cultivated close political and social relations with members of the Tibetan elite and established a Mission in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. Based on the Pitt Rivers Museum exhibition of the same name, Seeing Lhasa reveals the way in which the city of Lhasa, its palaces, monasteries and mansions, became the backdrop for a social world in which the British and Tibetans interacted. They ate and drank, watched films and played football together and these activities were photographed, painted and filmed as part of the British diplomatic agenda.
This book demonstrates the aesthetic accomplishments of British visitors to Tibet and documents aspects of Tibetan life no longer visible in the city vacated by the Dalai Lama in 1959. It features photographic portraits of many notable Tibetan figures, including members of the Tibetan religious and governmental hierarchies, alongside a unique set of watercolours by the Indian artist Kanwal Krishna, who accompanied the British party to witness the Installation of the 14th Dalai Lama in Lhasa in 1940. This is the first in-depth study of the way in which such images construct a sense of place and determine how future generations may see Lhasa.
The visual record is contextualised with essays by Clare Harris, Tsering Shakya and Elizabeth Edwards. Full details of all the Tibetan photographic collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum are also included.
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Published: October 2003
- ISBN: 9781932476040
- Size: 8.8 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
- Weight: 1.9 pounds