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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Monday, September 9, 2013

Striking Portraits of Shaolin Monks by Photographer Tomasz Gudzowaty

Tomasz Gudzowaty was born in 1971 and studied law at the University of Warsaw. He began his photographic career with nature photography, later turning to social documentary. For the past few years he has focused on sports photography and is particularly interested in non-commercial sports - those that are exotic, atypical or outside the media mainstream. His photos have been published in Max magazine, L'Equipe, The Guardian, Newsweek, Time and Photo. Gudzowaty is a multiple winner of the profession's premier contests, including eight previous World Press Photo awards, as well as Pictures of the Year and NPPA Best of Photojournalism awards. He has exhibited worldwide and published several photo books. He is associated with Yours Gallery in Warsaw, where he lives, with Focus Photo und Presseagentur in Hamburg and the Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto.


The origin of Shaolin Kung Fu is generally credited to an Indian monk named Tat Moh, who is also sometimes known as Boddhidharma. He began life as a prince in Southern India, but became a devoted Buddhist, renouncing his royal heritage to take up the simple lifestyle of a monk. He traveled widely, spreading the teachings of Buddhism. Eventually he rose to become the 28th patriarch of India. In those days, it was common for Indian monks to travel to China where their Buddhist teachings were eagerly received. In the year 520 A.D. Tat Moh made just such a journey, right through India and China, finally settling at the monastery called Shao Lin - which means 'little forest'. He was disappointed, however, to find the monks very weak and unable to withstand the austere ways of Buddhism - a life which often consisted of long fasts and frugal living. Tat Moh therefore retired into a cave and meditated in isolation in order to find a solution to the problem. When he emerged after nine years of hard study, he had devised a set of exercises for the monks. These were similar to some Indian exercises such as yoga and were intended to regulate and strengthen the monks' chi flow. Their intention was to strengthen the monks and increase their health and vitality; and this they did, so successfully that Tat Moh's Chi Kung exercises are still practiced to this day. They form the basis of the Shaolin Arts. [via USA Shoalin Temple]

1 comment:

  1. It was really impressive to see the way of the Shaolin Monks