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Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet
"After morning prayers, a lone monk stands in a doorway leading from the main sanctuary at Sakya Monastery," 2007 , © Marissa Roth

Marissa Roth »

Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet

Exhibition: 23 Sep 2017 – 18 Feb 2018

Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Avenue
AZ 85004-1685 Phoenix



Tue 10-21 . Wed-Sun 10-17

"This project is my love letter to Tibet.

It is the reflection of my inner and outer journeys to this land and a very personal impressionistic view of what it feels like to be in Tibet. It is also a social and political statement and another cry for awareness about what is being irrevocably lost.

I had always wanted to go to Tibet and finally ventured there in May of 2007. Like many others, I was familiar with images of Tibet and the vibrant palette of colors and vast clarity of details that are evident due to the region’s dryness and high altitude.

Up until that point, most of my personal photography was in black and white, but in Tibet I chose to photograph with the last of the Kodachrome film. I knew that the deep reds of the monasteries and monks’ and nuns’ robes would sing with this medium, but that the subtle colors of the stones and landscape would be tonally quiet. And, this film rendered the truest photographic black. It is this contradiction and duality that I continually search for and respond to visually, as I believe that they are the seen metaphors for all that exists.

Before I left on my journey, I had what I can only describe as a vision, which was to create a linear visual sentence of images that would unfold in a color sequence akin to the colors of Tibetan prayer flags. Nothing like this had ever occurred for me; typically I am reactive to my environment as a starting place for my work.

After that first trip, which garnered half of the images for my project, I was almost homesick with longing to return to Tibet. I was scheduled to go in May of 2008, but after the uprising in March of that year, Tibet was off-limits to tourists and I had to postpone my trip. I finally made it back in September of 2010 and completed the photography for what I consider to be this photographic meditation."

(Marissa Roth)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Marissa Roth is an internationally published freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer. Her assignments for prestigious publications including The New York Times, have taken her around the world. Roth was part of The Los Angeles Times staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for Best Spot News, for its coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and a number of images are in museum, corporate and private collections. "One Person Crying: Women and War", Roth’s 31-year personal photo essay that addresses the immediate and lingering impact of war on women in different countries and cultures around the world, is currently an international traveling exhibition. "Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet" is also a current project, and a traveling exhibition. The book, with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was released in April 2014. "The Crossing", a poetic photographic study of the north Atlantic Ocean, is also a current project.

As curator, Roth’s exhibition showcasing photographs taken by Vietnam Veterans during the war, entitled, "My War: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Veterans", debuted at The Highground Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville, WI, in August 2016.