Review: Looking Back Photo Exhibit Reception @ the Tibet House Friday, Jan. 15

Event: Tibet House presented “Looking Back” a photo exhibit of Tibet by legendary photographer Jaroslav Poncar.

Jaroslav Poncar chats with Spirikal

Jaroslav Poncar chats with Spirikal

Spirikal’s bottom line:  It was a wonderful reception, learning about photographer Jaroslav Poncar’s perilous journey to capture the breath-taking Tibetan landscapes and sacred temples. We learned with great sadness that many of these monestaries and monuments featured in the exhibit are no more.

One of my favorite photos. It was his first picture he took of Tibet.

One of my favorite photos, which is one of the first he took when he arrived in Tibet.

Review: This was a new experience because I had never been to the Tibet House before. It’s the most unassuming place you could imagine because it looked tiny from the outside.

The Tardis effect. The place is much bigger on the inside.

The Tardis effect. The place is much bigger on the inside.

In fact, I almost walked right past it; however, once upstairs, I realized the Tibet House occupies the entire second floor with an amazing gallery space filled with paintings and books in the first hall, and then the narrow corridor led me to a large room with Poncar’s work lining the walls.

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As far as the hospitality goes, I was glad to see that they offered guests a spread of snacks and white wine, although I don’t particularly fancy Californian Chardonnay. Oh well, I grabbed a glass and mingled with event-goers.

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The crowd was a mixed bunch. Of course, you had the spriritual, aged-hippies, but there were several artists, entrepreneurs and a lot of young professionals who love art.

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Interestingly, many of the guests turned up because they were on the mailing list, and the Tibet House frequently hosts events open to the public, including meditation services. A bit beyond me, but what ever floats your boat I suppose.

Poncar's Soviet-era camera

Poncar’s Soviet-era camera

Poncar is an amazing photographer. Originally from the former Czechoslovakia, he came to India, Nepal and finally Tibet armed with a Soviet-made camera.

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The journey was a difficult one, and he overcame enormous setbacks to capture these images.

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There were some powerful images of Tibetan life few people are allowed to see because of the Beijing government which sadly has destroyed many of the monestaries and temples featured in the photos, as part of its campaign to erradicate ‘anti-party’ elements. If you want to see his full collection on Tibet, click here.

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As the reception came to an end, I headed out for some sushi around the corner with some new chums and another glass of wine, with the images of Tibet still swimming in my head. I’ll definitely come back soon.

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Spirikal