Hidden amidst soaring snowy mountains, deep valleys, and desolate deserts are some of the greatest treasures of Buddhist culture and Tibetan heritage
. For more than a decade, photographer Thomas Laird
traveled the length, breadth, and far-flung corners of Tibet’s plateau to capture the land’s spectacular Buddhist murals in all their sublime vastness, intricacy, and their spiritual, emotional, and psychological enrichment.
Deploying new multi-image digital photography, Laird compiled the world’s first archive of these artworks, some walls as wide as 10 meters, in life-size resolution
. This breathtaking publication assembles Laird’s portfolio in extra-large format with six fold-outs, printed in five colors including gold. Featuring both complete murals and copious details
, it immerses readers into these precious, extraordinary masterpieces.
In recognition of this World Heritage landmark
and preservation of Tibetan culture
, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has signed all copies of this Collector’s Edition
. In the 528-page scholarly companion
, Buddhist writer and academic Robert Thurman
takes us through this transcendent journey with detailed text on the murals' spiritual significance while captions from experts Heather Stoddard
and Jakob Winkler
shed light on the storylines and artistic context of each image.
The Art Edition comes with a handmade, large-scale reproduction of a mural
depicting Buddha Shakyamuni, a masterpiece from the Gyantse Kumbum painted by Konchok Zangpo
in the early 15th century. Limited to just 40 editions, this piece evokes all the overpowering radiance of its centuries-old original
. It is crafted on plaster using the finest over-size printers and presented in a handmade hardwood frame with 24-karat gold
. The result is an immersive meditation piece
and a unique experience of the monuments preserved in our SUMO
As his Holiness the Dalai Lama has himself explained, these murals are not just objects of beauty, but serve as points of reference and guidance for practitioners of Buddhism, yoga, and meditation
, as well as for anyone seeking to incorporate mindfulness
into their daily life. Binding contemporary photographic technology with ancient traditions, this book and artwork are a major milestone in the appreciation of Buddhism
, a precious monument to Tibetan culture
, and a vital source for the contemplative arts and sciences
.SUMO-sized Art Edition (No. 1–40), with the hand-gilded print on plaster Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyantse Kumbum (ca. 1420), in a handmade hardwood frame. This artwork comes with the limited-edition SUMO, signed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and the Shigeru Ban bookstand.
Also available as a second Art Edition (No. 41–80) with an alternative artwork, and as a Collector’s Edition (No. 81–998).