Visually yours

Published On: November 17, 2016 11:45 PM NPT By: Joshna Karki

Photo books are instrumental sources of photographs incorporated with texts that tell a visual story of what has been shot and how it has shaped the photographers that have taken the images. They are useful in studying the work of some of the really good photographers to find inspiration, develop your own ideas and style, and learn to visualize the world. Mandala Book Store displays various such photo books out of which The Week’s Joshna Karki picked the following six works that immortalizes the crafts, culture, lifestyle, norms and customs of the land of temples, Himalayas, adventure, and Travel – Nepal. 

Nepal Himalaya: A Journey through Time
Photographs by: Sujoy Das | Text By: Lisa Choegyal

‘This captivating book by Sujoy Das and Lisa Choegyal brought back memories of my fifty five years savoring the beautiful mountains and people of Nepal.’ – Captain M.S. Kohli, Indian mountaineer and author. 

The book is a beautiful photographic recollection of the majestically rugged mountain scenery and evolving lifestyle of its landscape. The photos capture the poetic movement of people in their vibrant course of living in black and white. The pictures unravel the story through the eyes of a painter who sees what normal eyes miss. Lisa Choegyal’s text and captions open a contextual perspective of people and their faith in tourism, through mountaineering.  

Caravans of the Himalaya
Eric Valli and Diane Summers

The book is a travelogue, the two years of trailing the salt route with the Dolpo-pa, nomadic people who live between the high peaks of the Himalaya and the Tibetan plateau Chang Tang. The authors explore the history, socio-cultural norms and values of this remarkable civilization rich in myth and legend while creating a sense of bondage through verbal exchanges. The book unmasks the great thrill of the adventure of the land in its hidden realms of wonder. The authors’ familiarity with their chosen home, the deep friendship they have made in their travels, and the years they devoted to each subject gave their accounts a true insider’s touch that harks back to the early days of exploration in these remote regions.
The Portals in Newar Architecture-Tiered Temples in Nepal 
Niels Gutschow 
Newa architecture, an indigenous style of architecture used by the Newari people in Kathmandu valley, consists of the pagoda, stupa, shikhara, chaitya and other styles marked by striking brick work and a unique style of wood carving rarely seen outside Nepal. The valley’s trademark – the multiple-roofed pagoda style – has been exported by Nepalis architects including Arniko and spread to India, China, Indochina and Japan. The book captures the intricate details of the wood craft and structure of the buildings, portals, panels and deities of such architecture which carry rich material and nonmaterial aspects of cultural significance. Two devastating earthquakes in 1934 and 2015 caused the loss of much of the historic architecture, but many buildings survive, waiting to be studied by the coming generation of historians of architecture. The book also features the case studies of  important temples like Pashupatinath, Changu Narayan, Taleju Temple, and Gokarnesvara Temple to name a few. 

Kathmandu Valley Style
Lisa Choegyal, Craig Potton and Gautam SJB Rana
Nepal is widely acclaimed for its unique art and architectural styles; however, less is known of the recent imaginative and adaptive use of Nepali Architecture and decorative styles into new buildings and private homes. Kathmandu Valley Style captures the wealth of the past and illustrates how influences from the Malla, Tibetan, and Rana architecture have been incorporated into present-day buildings and lifestyles. The use of traditional themes and building techniques in the restored historic and new structures has breathed fresh life into Kathmandu’s rich and cultural heritage, and provided additional attractions for visitors. The book features over forty historic and new buildings, many of them never before photographed or published. Reinforcing national pride in Nepal’s vernacular architecture, this unique collection demonstrates how traditional art and architecture can be successfully incorporated into homes for today’s changing world. 

Timeless Kathmandu
Dinesh Shrestha
Dinesh Shrestha was born and raised in Kathmandu and this book is a product of inspiration drawn from the sights he grew up seeing. He presents a selection of scenes from everyday life in Kathmandu. With the rapid change taking over the valley due to modernity, many of the moments pictured here are in danger of being lost forever as considerable erosion of traditional values among the Newar themselves have been evident. Yet, for a large number of Kathmandu residents, particularly in the smaller towns, life continues as it has for centuries. The book pictures the daily round of temples, the periodic communal feasting, and the occasional celebration of festivals, all which continue unaffected amidst the growing pressures of modern life. It is not without reason that Kathmandu so richly deserves the appellation – timeless. 

Journey through Nepal
Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willetts and Brian Tetley
Land of tropical plain and ice-capped mountain peaks, fertile valleys and rushing streams, colorful festivals and tranquil meditation, Nepal is a country of vivid contrasts where the unforgettable saga of the famed Gurkha warriors and the Sherpa mountaineering community unfolds. Only 54,600 square miles in area, Nepal is nonetheless one of the world’s most diverse territories for people and landscapes, and truly a country of spectacle and beauty. The contrasts and cultures of this enchanted land are brought to glowing life in Journey through Nepal through 160 stunning color pictures by Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willetts and Brian Tetley’s absorbing narrative. Journey through Nepal is a new volume in the Journey series of illustrated books produced by Camerapix.

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