Living Shrines of Uyghur China

Photo: Lisa Ross, 2007

Photo: Lisa Ross, 2007

Created over a series of journeys to China’s Xinjiang region, photographer Lisa Ross captures a kaleidoscope of spiritual energy in her exhibit ‘Living Shrines of Uyghur China,’ which shows through July 8 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Ross’s series of vibrant images juxtaposes airy Islamic holy sites, called mazars, against Xinjiang’s stark desert landscape. A number of the mazars, which honor the lives of Muslim saints, have been maintained for hundreds of years. With some shrines almost psychedelic in appearance, Ross adeptly channels the vivacity of Uyghur culture without featuring a single human being in her photographs. Her serene portraits illustrate the harmonious intersection of religion, nature and this graceful and austere form of architecture.

Photo: Lisa Ross, 2007

Photo: Lisa Ross, 2007

Living Shrines of Uyghur China: Photography by Lisa Ross is at The Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17 St., New York, NY 10011 until July 8, 2013. rmanyc.org

And finally…if you are nowhere near New York , there is a book Living Shrines of Uyghur China to accompany the exhibition, published by Monacelli Press, 2013.

And don’t forget that Steppe 4 contains a 30-page feature article on these Muslim shrines in the Taklamakan, with photos by Lisa Ross and text by the historian Alexandre Papas which follows the travelogue of an eighteenth-century Sufi saint amongst these mazars of the desert. Click here to buy Steppe 4.