A Spanish journalist based in India for four years, Jaime Leon Ros got to roam around the world and garner a multitude of experiences and narratives. But what made a lasting impression on him were the monks he met. This led to his photography exhibition ‘The Colour of Buddhism”. “Monks, here or somewhere else, are human beings after all,” says Jaime underlining his exhibition’s theme.
His point is amply demonstrated in the frames displayed. In one, a monk is shown playing with a dog; in another a group is captured playing soccer. “In Leh, I met this group of monks and wanted to talk about their life as monks and what they do. But they were more interested in talking to me about soccer after they found that I was from Spain,” says the journalist-cum-photographer.
Another interesting image is that of a monk on the streets of Hong Kong with a tourist map. “He was just like any other tourist. They are holy men of course, but there is another side to their lives which I wanted to show through these images,” adds Jaime who also lived in China for two years.
Though the images have been taken in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Burma, Jaime has refrained from mentioning the country names in the exhibition. “I don’t want to make them country specific. Their lives — be it Vietnam or India — are so similar… I tried to capture some moments from their daily lives…In Dharamshala I clicked some monks who were protesting,” says Jaime.
Tell him architecture has an important presence in his work and he says it’s not a conscious effort. “The buildings or the surrounding structures that you see are there because I make an effort to capture the feel of the space…” says the photographer, who has, of late, been shooting in Kashmir.
Bottomline: Monks are human beings after all
The Colour of Buddhism
Where: Instituto Cervantes, 48, Hanuman Road, New Delhi
When: Till July 31