Los Angeles-based photographer Barry Shaffer presents his first major fine-art publication, Echoes of Bhutan, produced in Verona, Italy, by EBS Editoriale Bortolazzi Stei, and designed by David Chickey. The photographs are from Shaffer’s collection of visits to Bhutan during the years 2001, 2014 & 2015. Shaffer’s visits to Bhutan were as a private citizen, and as an engaged photographer for the Tribal Trust Foundation and later at the invitation of Bhutan’s government and travel Industry.The images of this tiny Himalayan Kingdom span a period of over fifteen years. This is no ordinary place to photograph, it is an amply modern country, yet medieval with one foot still rooted in its past. It is a land of ancient monasteries, fluttering prayer flags and unforgettable beauty, where one cannot help but feel a lasting sense of peaceful tranquility. Almost every decision is carefully weighed for the benefit of its people through it’s Gross National Happiness institutions, which gives Bhutan its uniqueness. The stunning photography is accompanied by written contributions from Dr. Robert Thurman; Bhutan’s Queen Mother; the 4th King; the current and Honorable Prime Minister; Costas Christ, an on-going editor at National Geographic; and Captions by Samten Wangchuk. All proceeds from the sales of Echoes of Bhutan will benefit Bhutan’s Tarayana Foundation.
Shaffer’s experiences have taught him that most people, whether they are anonymous individuals from the most remote corners of the globe or well-known Hollywood celebrities, share the same needs and have strikingly similar hopes, dreams, and desires. With his photography he hopes to convey this human universality.
Echoes of Bhutan was released at the Telluride Mt. Film Festival on May 28th, with scheduled signings in Culver City, Santa Barbara, NYC, and Thimphu, Bhutan.