Luisa Rota Sperti- Kailãs: Viaggiatori incantati e pellegrini (Kailãs: Enchanted Travellers and Pilgrims)


kailÃs: viaggiatori incantati e pellegrini

Home > Cycles > Kailãs: Viaggiatori incantati e pellegrini (Kailãs: Enchanted Travellers and Pilgrims)

At the centre of Earth, a great Mountain rises
Lady of the snows, stately anchored in the sea, her peak crown by clouds
Landmark of every created thing. (Kalidãsa IV sec. A.D.)

"All the places live through the reverence, and only by this reverence they stay alive ..the reverence is the lymph that nurtures the rock of a place, its might, its vital charge. Each tourist leaves behind themselves the desert of the desecration, the pilgrim leaves the gift their down intensity". (J. A. Swan)

Enchanted travellers and, simultaneously or consequently, pilgrims.
The work is a circular trip round and towards the heart, because all the existence can be compared to a pilgrimage: the search of the true deep Self. There is the leaving before, and " leaving one's own land is still performing a part of the Dharma", the enchantment then " the ecstatic wonder, beginning of wisdom". So are unravelled extraordinary lives, savouring unique existences in a land, Tibet, universally rose to a pacific symbol of a twice freedom: an inner one, and another one from the Chinese invader.
Not all those here mentioned have physically walked around the Kailãs; there is, in the cycle of the drawn plates, a game of symbols and metaphors: the sacred mountain reach and the inner research, to which everybody of them had yearn for. Going back to the symbols means re-evaluate, in the magic, a dozy spirituality that remains as an essence of the life; those lives have been completely filled.
So, for me the work is an important stage of the "artistic pilgrimage", but also a synthesis of memories of a small traveller, and mountain lover that, more than any other subject, appear in almost all of my works.
The mountain and its visitors, on the plates, are fixed in a place outside any real time, and so celebrated in their own intimate community. A gentle wind moves slightly the small prayer flags in beach of the plates, and the gestures that had signed each walk reveal themselves and show in this "suspended time".
So, Heinrich Harrer is surprised making a photo of an older Dalai Lama, and all the family group poses in front of the Potala, with the Kailãs above, in the sky like a cloud, because in the legends they say that this Mountain has come from a far place and has arrived in Tibet for the joy of all creatures, but in the dark age it might fly away again.

Luisa Rota Sperti - Heinrich Harrer

Austrian alpinist, born 1912, in 1938 is part on the rope at the North of the Eiger. Labelled then an "heroic wanderer" he become, when in Lhasa after an adventurous escape, tutor and great friend of the young Dalai Lama. He has been the fast to live in a free Tibet , for 7 years as a Tibetan between Tibetans. He came back after 30 years, a short trip, full of nostalgia." . The tops covered with ice that cover the country have not changed, no political system will ever destroy the "throne of the Gods". Unchanged also, in the cold moon nights, the squawking of the wild geese and of the cranes while they fly over Lhasa. Their wings sounds like "lha gye lo" (the gods will win)".

Sven Anders Hedin is painted while drawing some girls: his travel colour set beside him, his proud glance of burning explorer, ill, they said, di of that ecstasies of a total, heroic adventure.

Luisa Rota Sperti - Sven Anders Hedin

Swedish explorer ( 1865-1952). In love with the immense steppes and mighty tablelands, for 3 times tries to reach the Forbidden City. The contact with Tibet has been part of his young adventures full of enthusiasm and rages. He was labelled the "last explorer" to live a travel as adventurous geography, as haunted by the discovery anxiety. In his books, beside the tale there are photos, maps, an above all wonderful drawings, made with pencil, in and watercolour.

In front of a snowy brilliant Kailãs, so perfect in its iconography, the academic Giuseppe Tucci dissert eruditely with a young learned person.

Luisa Rota Sperti - Giuseppe Tucci

He was one of the best European orientalists (1894-1984) " . in some moments, in some days, Tucci was able to transform into an absolutely fascinating person. Have you ever had a genius as mate? I had, and I know what this means. It is one of the most wonderful experiences that might happen during one's life. he followed with bright eyes and enthusiasm, with electric half-erect hair on his head, with wide magician gestures, shaman were his thoughts." (F. Maraini). And his thoughts, and the erudite quoting wander, in many languages, in numberless fields. To the academic Tucci is, without any doubt, ascribed, also if only by images, the salvation of an important part of the great artistic Tibetan heritage.

In a plate of smaller size, Annie Taylor, the "little bride of God", indoctrinate the young, delicate Pontso

Luisa Rota Sperti - Annie Taylor

An English missionary in her forties and sickly, from an high class college to the mission in China and Mongolia. She decided, enchanted by Tibetan people, to go and conquer for God the Tibet. In her own many efforts to reach the Forbidden City, she met Pontso, an eighteen years old Tibetan" . with his sweet face, a pre-raphaelite angel" whom became christian, and her adoptive son. The history of Annie and Pontso is similar to David Neal's one, but it contrasts on a religious plane. Intrepid and resolute, she made ruinous trips, her own tragic adventures won't bring her to Lhasa: in January 1893 she is stopped and arrested. The last news about per and the fragile Pontso ascend to the end of 1893: when a long row of British soldiers crossed the boundary, Annie lived in Yatungo, where she had opened a small commercial business.

While in the following table a dark sky suggests the Sacred Mountain: the temples float behind an epic Alexandra David Neal, starting a pilgrimage with her son, Lama Jongden, to the Forbidden City

Luisa Rota Sperti - Alexandra David Neal

Traveller, lyric singer, writer, erudite, photographer; an absolutely extraordinary life, she was born in France in 1868 and died in 1969. He was the first European woman to enter in Lhasa. After some intense life experiences, in 1911 went in Orient, and started there her own epos. Alexandra did not limited herself to the intellectual knowledge, but she was a great experimenter, pupil of a Lama, and Lama herself. She met Jongden, 14 years old, incarnated, that became her own adoptive son e and she accompanied him, always, in his own outer and inner trips. The adventures of Alexandra, otherwise the "passionate" Annie, are lead with fine intelligence, and humour. She was very learned, polished also in extreme situations that she knew how to change from tragic into tragi-comic. In 1924 she was in Lhasa, through a way no one will ever repeat. There are countless essays and fiction works of this extraordinary: woman" ... she that, a hundred years old, had made per passport renewed, she only rested by accepting to die".

And now William Woodville Rockhill, young romantic American, enchanted, almost haunted, they said, about Tibet: the "warrior coverings" with whom he is portrayed contrast with the good disposition and nice patience faced storms, hunger, cold and prisons: consequences of her passion. And in the back, on every side, always She, the Mountain, unravels:

This heart of the Sky,
Centre of the Earth,
Navel of the World surrounded by snows. (Anonymous Tibetan, VI A.D.)

Luisa Rota Sperti - William Woodville Rockhill

American, born in Philadelphia in 1854, soldier, then in Algeria. In Paris, he studied the Tibetan Buddhism and grew into him an obsession to see Tibet. Like other travellers, in the country of the snows, where strangers were not welcome, his travels in 1888 first, and in 1892 then, were tragic: months of cold between snow and storms, absence of food, and at the end also the arrest and the order to go back from the same impossible way. Rockhill is strong, and his romantic disposition makes him appreciate the tragic experience. He had not seen Lhasa, but he had been able with great joy to make a young Lama that has been his companion go there. Rockhill came back to America, and he was the last ambassador of Washington at the Tsar court.

Lama Anagarika Govinda is painted in his suit of Great Convert; in him, intelligence excels and the sweet Li Gotami seems to bow at him, like the Spirit of Beauty to Buddha Sâkyamuni.

Luisa Rota Sperti - Lama Anagarika Govinda

Born in 1898 he was "a man of Indian origin, with European ancestors (Germany) and Buddhist, that belongs to a Tibetan order and believe in men brotherhood": so he liked to describe himself. He was from the Andes region and described as one of the greater living authorities in the meditation field; Lama Govinda, in his intense life of scholar and religious, was a philosopher and thinker, archaeologist, but also a fine poet and artist. In love with Kailãs, he was its bard by analysing, the peculiar symbols. LI GOTAMI, excellent copyist and refined painter, accompanied him in his archaeological and spiritual studies.

To the imperturbability of the Lama is opposed a free young Fosco Maraini that photographed art and persons loving them with the same intensity. He is leaning to a shaky stupa: to one side, the Dance of the Skeleton, to the other, Pema-Chóki Namgyal, princess that Death has taken away soon.
Symbols and suggestions...

Luisa Rota Sperti - Fosco Maraini

Anthropologist, climber, good writer and extraordinary Italian photographer (1912 - 2004). His first trip in Tibet with Giuseppe Tucci was the base of the forming of his spirit and his own high cultural development." ... not a photographer reporting, but a camera, a Leica, that shot what the heart felt, the things the soul bowed, with amazement, to perceive and to breath. A mystic wind entering in any of your space to mix with you to become image and voice, the infinite dare of the mountain, the carcass of a exhausted Himalayan horse, the smiling look of a shepherd, the vigil without time of a hermit, the sumptuous dress of a Rimpoche, the voices of hundreds of little monks in a solitary monastery , the invincible glance of the most beloved peak: Pema Chöki, the Princess..." (S. Dallari).

To the climber Reinhold Messner the privilege of melting with the Kailãs. There is something excellent, in the end, in an alpinist that decides not to climb a mountain. The wonderful homage of Messner is contained in simple words:"..when I saw the Kailãs, I felt that this mountain must not be climbed, must remain intact in all its own sacredness, a blue crystal that may be reached only through prayer and meditation."

Luisa Rota Sperti - Reinhold Messner


Kailãs: Viaggiatori incantati e pellegrini (Kailãs: Enchanted Travellers and Pilgrims):

10 tables of small - medium and great size