All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

Shaolin: Temple of Zen

by Tim Yu
on 09 October 2007
ShaolinBookCover.jpg
GuarigliaShaolin.jpg

Shaolin monks, the guardians of the "vehicle to zen," are the subject of talented and determined photographer Justin Guariglia's new book, Shaolin: Temple of Zen. Having once made the two-day trip from Beijing to the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, the Shaolin Temples of central China, where Guariglia shot the series, I know these images were not easy to get. Walking the grounds as a visitor and watching demonstrations, it was understandable and very apparent that I was not experiencing anything close to authentic. Guariglia, on the other hand, befriended and gained the trust of temple inhabitants over numerous visits. As a result, for the first time in the secret society's fifteen hundred year-old history, the monograph documents the Buddhist monks dedication to preserving Kung fu.

Shaolin compiles select images shot over the past eight years in the recently-released book, capturing intimate, candid and unplanned moments that lend some humanity to these enlightened figures. Addressing the fact that Shaolin has experienced a recent boom of popularity due to the success of Kung fu movies like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," his photos often show the traditions of Shaolin culture clashing with a fast-paced contemporary China.

MonkShideChao.jpg

In celebration of the book's release there will be a special event this Friday, 12 October 2007, at the Rubin Museum of Art which will include a demonstration by Shaolin monk Shi de Chao of the 31st generation (pictured right), a book signing and a slide show. Visit Aperture for more information on the event and to purchase the book for $28. See more images here.

Shaolin: Temple of Zen
Book release and demonstration: 12 October 2007, 6pm
Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th Street
New York, NY map
tel. +1 212 620-5000

Also on Cool Hunting: Guariglia + Chen: Qi

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms