Living Shrines poster at Gulf Photo Plus via Gulf Photo Plus
CAIRO - 26 June 2017: Photographer Lisa Ross captured the spirituality in Urighur, Xinjiang by reproducing her spiritual experience in Sufi shrines in a photography series called Living Shrines exhibited at the Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai, according to The national; which started on May 13 until September 2.
Ross spent over 10 years documenting the Shrines in the Xinjiang region. In her project, Ross focused on the sculpture of the shrines and their representation rather than the people.
She said that she did not focus on other people when she was at the shrines and wanted to recreate that experience to the viewer. “I want you to stand in front of this and feel something, whatever it is – just be moved in some way,” she added.
By bringing the viewer into Taklamakan Desert, she emphasized on how this place’s spiritual element conveys the power of faith.
The most striking part of this project is how it highlights a taboo cultural and political Issue. Xinjiang had not always been part of the Chinese mainland. The region is surrounded by eight countries - Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It has always been under China since the 18th century with occasional independence. Prior to that, it was under the rule of the Soviet Union.
Religion plays a significant role to the indigenous of Xinjiang; Uighurs. Most Uighurs are Muslims and practicing Islam is a vital role in their life and culture. The Chinese government has placed restrictions on their religious practices and shrines by making public religious worship illegal.
Ross is an award winning fine art photographer, video artist and writer. According to the biography on her website, “Ross’s work revolves around the liminal spaces in which faith, culture and abstraction meet.” She works with other themes including gender, identity, and intimacy. Her other projects include Goldbirds, After Night and Inside Forest.