Wind Pictures | Three Realms
Brian Merriam on his series, Wind Pictures
“Wind Pictures is the product of several journeys i undertook in 2019. Two trips into the Himalaya, countless miles trekked through the last forbidden Tibetan kingdom and a voyage to equally distant regions in my own mind. Upper Mustang Nepal, formerly the Kingdom of Lo, is a high altitude desert region of central Nepal that reaches as far north as the southern border of Tibet. It has only been open to westerners since 1992, and has been largely untouched both culturally and physically for nearly 700 years. There are traces of more ancient cultures, ruins of even older settlements being slowly reclaimed by the land, creators unknown to even the current residents. Sky cave cliff dwellings dot cliffs by the hundreds, it’s a place no one knows all the answers to, where there is still mystery from antiquity.
My work in recent years has largely been a reflection of a process of healing undertaken in response to tragedy. I set out making work about finding solace in the distant past of geologic time. Conventional therapy, meditation and the use of psychedelics became tenets of this healing process as well. As a result I became fascinated with the seemingly parallel ideas of theoretical physics and buddhism about the illusory nature of reality. I was drawn to the idea of Buddhism less as a religion, but more as ancient system for understanding the nature of reality and ones own place in it. Mustang became the perfect marriage of the mental and physical journeys i had been on for last few years. An unimaginable landscape of mars-like desert beneath the looming Himalaya, and also a bastion of nearly pristine Tibetan Buddhist Culture.
In Wind Pictures I have set out to chronicle this next step. The journey outward mirroring the journey in. As above, so below.”
- Brian Merriam