The award -winning photogapher Bill Frej and his wife launch a new show with us today, celebrating the launch of William and Anne Frej’s new book, Travels Across the Roof of the World: A Himalayan Memoir. The Frejs will also give a talk on their work at the gallery on Saturday, October 8 from 1-3 p.m. Here’s the video of the installation:
The color photographs provide a sweeping yet intimate view of the breathtaking peaks, splendid valleys, and extraordinary people of the Himalaya, from the Pamir Mountains in Kyrgyzstan through Afghanistan’s fabled Hindu Kush, the Karakoram in Pakistan, and the Great Himalaya Range that stretches across northern India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.
The Frejs first first visited Nepal in 1981 on a month-long trek around Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world. Inspired by the practice of Tibetan Buddhism they encountered in remote mountain villages, this trek led to a lifelong quest, documenting both the world’s highest peaks as well as the resilient people living throughout the roof of the world.
They returned to Nepal in 1982, and in 1985, they took a two-year sabbatical walking to the base camps of the world’s highest peaks. Starting in the mountains of northern Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, the Frej’s walked over 3,000 miles on their personal pilgrimage through Pakistan, India, Nepal and Tibet.
Throughout this sojourn, Asia’s highest peaks and their outposts of remote civilizations and religions provided a wealth of subject matter for photography, documenting peaks, people and ceremonies seen by only a few. Their quest continued over next three decades until the present, returning to the Himalayas many times, living in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and documenting not only mountains, but ancient religious ceremonies that still define a way of life for Asia’s Hindu, Bon and Buddhist peoples.
Frej’s June of 2018 visit to the Indian Himalaya retraced the steps of India’s devout holy men, the Sadhus, to Gaumukh glacier, the source of the holy Ganges, and continued through Ladakh, visiting 24 remote monasteries and participating in ceremonies at Lamayuru and Hemis Monasteries.