Justin Guariglia: Shaolin

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Overview

For the first time in history, the notoriously guarded warrior monks of the 1500-year-old Shaolin Temple--a Chinese Buddhist sect dedicated to preserving a form of kung fu known as the "vehicle of Zen"--have allowed their secretive society to be documented. With the blessing of the main abbot, Justin Guariglia earned the trust and full collaboration of the Shaolin monks to create an astonishing, empathic record of the Shaolin art forms and the individuals who consider themselves the keepers of these traditions. ...
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Hardcover New For the first time in history, the notoriously guarded warrior monks of the 1500-year-old Shaolin Temple--a Chinese Buddhist sect dedicated to preserving a form ... of kung fu known as the vehicle of Zen--have allowed their secretive society to be documented. With the blessing of the main abbot, Justin Guariglia earned the trust and full collaboration of the Shaolin monks to create an astonishing, empathic record of the Shaolin art forms and the individuals who consider themselves the keepers of these traditions. Over the past eight years, Guariglia has deftly captured the changing context of this ancient sect as it encounters the increasingly hyper-modern world of contemporary China. This amazing work provides viewers with a rare opportunity to examine the energy and spirit of the Shaolins' unique Zen practice, which has until now primarily been seen via pop-cultural interpretation in such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It features serial imagery of fighting poses; cinematic grid im Read more Show Less

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Overview

For the first time in history, the notoriously guarded warrior monks of the 1500-year-old Shaolin Temple--a Chinese Buddhist sect dedicated to preserving a form of kung fu known as the "vehicle of Zen"--have allowed their secretive society to be documented. With the blessing of the main abbot, Justin Guariglia earned the trust and full collaboration of the Shaolin monks to create an astonishing, empathic record of the Shaolin art forms and the individuals who consider themselves the keepers of these traditions. Over the past eight years, Guariglia has deftly captured the changing context of this ancient sect as it encounters the increasingly hyper-modern world of contemporary China. This amazing work provides viewers with a rare opportunity to examine the energy and spirit of the Shaolins' unique Zen practice, which has until now primarily been seen via pop-cultural interpretation in such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It features serial imagery of fighting poses; cinematic grid images and cool design.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Guariglia, a talented young photographer who spent a decade in Asia, took his camera into the 1500-year-old Shaolin Temple to record the culture and life of a Chinese Buddhist sect dedicated to preserving an ancient form of kung fu known as the "vehicle of Zen." His book is valuable for opening these guarded warrior monks' world to us for the first time, placing the temple, the monks, and their focused and austere lifestyle and daily regimen of fighting poses into a broader, contemporary Chinese context with images of the world surrounding the Shaolin Temple. Guariglia brings his National Geographicexperience to the project, revealing exotic sites and people through accessible photography. However, though well composed and respectfully chosen, these 100 images are perhaps less artistic and colorful than they might be, considering the unusual subject and locale. An essay by Rhodes scholar and martial artist Matthew Polly (American Shaolin) is full of appreciation for Shaolin as a Zen practice. Recommended.
—David Bryant

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597110808
  • Publisher: Aperture Foundation
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1974 in Livingston, New Jersey, Justin Guariglia lived in Asia for nearly a decade and now resides in New York City. He has worked for National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, and Newsweek. Guariglia was nominated for the International Center of Photography's Young Photographer Infinity Award, received an Eddie Adams Workshop award, and was named by Photo District News as one of the top "30 Young Photographers Under 30.

Matthew Polly is a Princeton University graduate, martial artist and Rhodes scholar. His recent book, American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch (Penguin, 2007), is a memoir of the two years he spent training at the Shaolin Temple.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2008

    Finally...

    I'm a kung fu practitioner so take this with a grain of salt... Finally, a cool book about one of the most little understood martial arts centers. I've looked for a photo book on Shaolin for years and this seems to be the first one. I wish there was more how to in this book, but the colors and feeling are really just stunning. I understand these photos were taken before the temple was restored so it doesn't look like this anymore?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    One of the most interesting coffee table books around. Took a few times to go through it to get it, but visually stunning. Want to see a bit more - would have been better if it was twice the size. The photography is fascinating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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