The portfolio was shot in Mustang, Nepal, in 2010-2011 and it is based on a Tibetan legend I read about a while ago.
Soon after I came to know about that compelling story, I tried to imagine in photographs how the ceremony could have taken place. Then I thought of the guardians, the student who could have possibly attained enlightenment and all the fears, incarnated by the demons, he could have possibly overcome in order to exit from this terrifying room.
I did not enter the room, nor I did go looking for it. I went looking for subjects that could have been part of the storyboard I wanted to use to depict the legend.
Long ago, in Tibet, there was a ceremony, held every hundred years, which Buddhist students could undergo in order to attain enlightenment. All the students would line up in their monkish robes. The lamas, the Tibetan priests and the Dalai lama would line up before the students in front of the guardians of the room.
The Dalai Lama would begin the ceremony by saying, "This is the ceremony of the Room of 1,000 Demons. It is a ceremony for enlightenment, and it happens only once every hundred years. If you choose not to go through it now, you will have to wait another hundred years. To help you make this decision, we'll tell you what the ceremony involves.
"In order to enter the Room of 1.000 Demons, you just open the door and walk in. The Room of 1,000 Demons is not very big. Once you enter, the door will close behind you. There is no door-knob on the inside of the door. In order to get out, you will have to walk all the way through the room, find the door on the other side, open the door, and come out. Then you will be enlightened."
"The room is called the Room of 1,000 Demons because there are one thousand demons in there. Those demons have the ability to take the form of your worst fears. As soon as you walk into the room, those demons show you your worst fears."
"We can't come in and rescue you. That is part of the rules. If you go into the Room of 1,000 Demons, you must leave it on your own. Some people never leave. They go into the Room of 1,000 Demons and become paralyzed with fright. They stay trapped in the room until they die. If you want to take the risk of entering the room, that's fine. If you don't, if you want to go home, that's fine too."
After I came to know about this wonderful story, I tried to imagine in photographs how the ceremony could have taken place. Then I thought of the guardians, the student who could have possibly attained enlightenment and all the fears, incarnated by the demons, he could have possibly overcome in order to exit from this terrifying room…
Archival Prints are available in the following LE sizes:
40 by 40 cm ( ~16 by 16 in ) : Limited Edition of 10 + 1 AP
60 by 60 cm ( ~24 by 24 in ) : Limited Edition of 10 + 1 AP
100 by 100 cm ( ~39 by 39 in ) : Limited Edition of 5 + 1 AP