For most Westerners, the distance from our modern world to the remote villages of the Himalayas is too great to traverse, even in imagination. In this collection of photographs, Olivier Follmi demonstrates that the gap between cultures, no matter how great, is only one of perception. His images of pure snow, high peaks, and foreign customs transcend the categories of beauty or human interest. Follmi first visited the Himalayas twenty-five years ago, and the land has never lost its hold on him. The photographer's love of his surroundings transforms his subjects and beings them near. Through his lens, we have the rare privilege of experiencing one of the planet's most treacherous climates; strange faces, both familiar and lovely; and the outward traces of this culture's spiritural tradition of serenity.
It is not possible to feel such love for a place without becoming part of it. The next that accompanies these photographs describes how the Himalayas, over time, have literally become Follmi's life. These places and people define Follmi's world; the offering he makes within these pages expands our consciousness-not only of our world, but also of our humanity.