Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jambhala The Photographer

As a Han Chinese photographer, he preferred to be called Jambhala, a Tibetan name he received from his Tibetan Buddhism master and also God of Wealth.

Jambhala developed an interest in photographing because of his father in early 1980s and worked as a journalism photographer, advertisement photographer, and freelancer before his current job - a photography teacher at Shanghai Art and Design Academy.

Believing in Tibetan Buddhism for 15 years, he says the religion influenced him a lot and attracted him to the depth and profundity in culture as well as humanity.

"Travelling in Tibet and Qinghai impressed me deeply and challenged my definition and purpose of photography,” said Jambhala in a telephone interview.

Jambhala believes the essence to a successful photographer lies on their attitudes towards life and the world particularly in contemporary China, where he sees rapid economic growth entangled with increasing capriciousness in the public mindset.

In teaching photography, Jambhala emphasized on the accumulation of experiences and urged his students “to be able to endure the loneliness” before their talents can sparkle. Photography is in some way similar to Buddhism because both echo the belief that “constant effort yields sure success.”

While being satisfied with his life, Jambhala is also concerned about the loss of culture and a lack of sense of responsibility in Chinese photographers who struggle to gain sensational attention in the fiercely competitive market.

"Society is becoming diversified. More people now know photography and show the individual angles of their observation. In this environment, the basic principle is to respect the diversity."