Murals of Tibet – Making of

Murals of Tibet – Making of

We worked on this book now for almost 7 years. In every of our SUMO productions, we are always
trying to do new things. But of course, this means also to do many series of tests. The relief embossing of the cover you see
here, for example – we repeated it four times! And until the end, you do not know if it will
ever work. So, but this is the nice thing about it: you
try to get the best and at the end, sometimes it’s fantastic and you have the result you
want. Sometimes, it does not work and you have to
start over again, finding something different. We had to bring sheets from Europe to India, that then would come back from India to Europe. The murals can now be appreciated much better than on site. They have never been explored to the extent
as they have been now because the walls are nine meter high, the lighting is terrible. You never were able to look up and
study the faces. You cannot get the picture with one photography. It is a sum of pictures taken digitally and
then stitched together. This is the original color file and then we
decided to print the picture with real gold. So, there is the gold foil as a first run
and then the other colors are printed on top. For sure, for each page we had at least 5
sets of proofs. We used a binding machine that is made for
TASCHEN. With this machine we are able to sew a book
block of 70 cm. That’s the only machine who can do this. The concept of the design for this bookstand
is created by Shigeru Ban. He was asked by Benedikt Taschen to collaborate
with this book. If you think about Shigeru Ban, he’s been
called the architect of compassion and that’s a word that comes directly linked with Buddhist
philosophy. Another very nice thing are our ribbons and
they correspond to the colors of the five Buddhas. These are the details that make the book so
different. I always say, it compares a little bit to
having the Sistine Chapel unveiled for the first time, plus the most important examples
of Christian art though the entire continent of Europe – and all of that assembled in
one book. That compares a little bit to what has been
done with the MURALS OF TIBET.

12 thoughts on “Murals of Tibet – Making of

  1. What a masterpiece of photography, printing, binding and finishing, and the enormous size – phew!!! If the books were sold on the open market they would be valued at least £10,000 each.

  2. P.S. This master work of a book is indeed available to buy in a limited edition. And I was not far out with the price, they are selling at £9,500 each. Here is the link: . The most intriguing question of all concerns the painting of these mural masterworks by Tibetan Lamas. How did they paint them hundreds of years ago, using only oil lamps for lighting, in caves and window-less monasteries? The brushwork is so fine in many of them, that, even for artists today, would require strong lighting to accomplish.

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