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Ling to give Lehigh a snapshot of life in Tibet

The Lehigh community will get a much better picture of everyday life in Tibet with a visual presentation and lecture by photographer Elaine Ling at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1 in Linderman Library, Room 200.

Ling’s work documents her travels to Tibet in 1997 where she photographed the people and their environment, exploring the balance between nature and the man-made. Her photographs also reflect the changes that have taken place since her previous trip in 1998.

“Elaine Ling is a creative and humanistic documentary photographer who has covered many parts of the world,” says Ricardo Viera, associate professor of art and architecture and curator of the Lehigh University Art Galleries. “The Lehigh University Art Gallery (LUAG) goal (with this program) is to promote visual literacy as well as cultural understanding. We feel that these presentations act as an alternative to the classroom.”

Lloyd Steffen, professor of religion studies and university chaplain, adds, “We are pleased that the Lehigh Art Gallery schedule could be adjusted this spring—with some considerable effort—to prepare the campus for the July visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This should be a wonderful aesthetic and educational event for our campus, and given the present turmoil in Tibet, we welcome the opportunity to learn more about the people and culture of Tibet from Ms. Ling, who has recently been there and will have much to share.”

Ling was born in Hong Kong and lives in Toronto, Canada. She has photographed sites of ancient culture and architecture across four continents, at sites ranging from Mongolian deserts to Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat.

Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the world, and they are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Brooklyn Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Musee de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium, and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa, among others.

Ling will be the Artist-in-Residence from March 31 to April 4. “Photography of Tibet: Part I, 1997” appears in the DuBois Gallery, Maginnes Hall. “Photography of Tibet: Part II, 2007” will be exhibited in the Zoellner Main Gallery from May 7 to July 27 in conjunction with the visit to Lehigh University of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, July 10-15. In addition to the lecture on April 1, Ling will give a gallery talk at DuBois Gallery in Maginnes Hall on Thursday, April 3 at 4:30.

Ling’s lecture is sponsored by Lehigh’s Visiting Lecturer’s Committee and is the latest in a series of events designed to educate the campus community prior to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit next July. His visit will include a series of teachings as well as a half-day public lecture on July 13. The five-and-a-half days of teachings, sponsored by the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, N.J., will take place July 10-15.

All of the events will take place in Stabler Arena on the Goodman Campus.

For the latest information on the Dalai Lama’s visit, check out Lehigh’s Dalai Lama Web site.

--Elizabeth Shimer Bowers

Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2008

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