Mostly unknown to the outside world, the temples and storerooms of Tibet's monasteries shelter a great number of ancient Buddhist objects. Not only are there a great number of Buddhist sculptures and paintings produced by Tibetan artists, but included also are rare examples originating from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Burma, and China. These images have withstood sometimes more than one thousand years of warfare and other calamities.
Despite a growing number of books dealing with various aspects of Tibetan culture and religion, most publications have the shortcoming that they are almost exclusively illustrated with objects scattered worldwide in private and public collections. A notable exception is the two-volume chronicle Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, published in 2001 by this author. However, it is monumental in scale and there is a need for a more affordable condensed edition.
108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet not only fills the need for such a volume, but also provides additional research and recently photographed discoveries. It is a comprehensive yet accessible guide to the stylistic development of Buddhist sculptures in Tibet. By using existing examples in monasteries, it also acts as a catalogue record of these objects that helps to ensure these objects remain there in the foreseeable future. This will enable future generations of scholars to do additional research with the same objects, unlike objects in private collections that are usually sold after some years. The book also includes a DVD of digital photographs of the 108 statues illustrated in this book and of the 419 most important Buddhist sculptures in the collection of the Jo khang / Lhasa gTsug lag khang. Some 311 of them were previously published in Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet. The remaining 108 sculptures will be illustrated in Jokhang - Tibet's Most Sacred Temple, edited by Gyurme Dorje (to be published by Thames & Hudson). These 527 digital photographs can be downloaded free of charge by anyone, regardless whether for personal use or for publication. It is the hope of the author that other scholars will take use of this opportunity to publish some of these wonderful Buddhist sculptures.