(American, b. 1951)
Image: 42.6 x 16 cm (16 3/4 x 6 5/16 in.); Paper: 46.5 x 21.8 cm (18 5/16 x 8 9/16 in.); Matted: 66 x 35.6 cm (26 x 14 in.)
Gift of Friends of Photography 1996.308
© Lois Conner
This 233-foot-tall stone sculpture was carved by hand from a sandstone cliff.
Inspired by the elongated scrolls of Chinese landscape painters, Lois Conner uses an antique view camera that yields 7-by-17-inch negatives, well suited to depicting this statue of Buddha. At the top of the image, we glimpse a modern city across the river through the haze. As our eye descends, it echoes the experience of the visitors who climb down to the feet of this ancient monument, built between 713 and 803. Sadly, the sculpture is now imperiled by weathering, air pollution, and the impact of tourists’ visits and, in fall 2020, was endangered by floodwaters.
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