When Peter Sis unlocked the red laquered box that sat on his father's desk for decades, he found the diary his father kept when he was sent to Tibet in the 1950s to instruct the Chinese in documentary filmmaking. Amongst the experiences Vladimir Sis recorded included becoming lost after a landslide, trekking to Lhasa and meeting the young Dalai ...
When Peter Sis unlocked the red laquered box that sat on his father's desk for decades, he found the diary his father kept when he was sent to Tibet in the 1950s to instruct the Chinese in documentary filmmaking. Amongst the experiences Vladimir Sis recorded included becoming lost after a landslide, trekking to Lhasa and meeting the young Dalai Lama. In Tibet: Through the Red Box, Peter Sis juxtaposes these journal records with childhood recollections of his father's tales of Yetis, magical messengers and a Boy-God-King. Sis replicates the diary's spidery handwriting and illustrates his father's fantastical adventures with exquisite, intricately stylised artwork. In this very personal book, Peter Sis fuses captivating details and mystical elements of the Tibetan culture with dreams, memory and imagination.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-08-10 In this visually enticing, magically appealing, oversized volume, Czechoslovakian-born illustrator S?s applies his considerable gifts to painting a spellbinding portrait of his father's experiences in Tibet, where he was sent in the 1950s to instruct the Chinese in documentary filmmaking. Vladimir S?s was actually drafted by the Chinese government to record the construction of a highway from China into Tibet; he was to be gone more than two years, unable to communicate with his family. During that time, China invaded the neighboring country, and S?s senior witnessed events he dared not describe even after he returned home, except through "magical stories" he related to his son. The diary he kept during his sojourn in Tibet was locked in a red box, which his son only saw for the first time in 1994, when he received a cryptic message from his father: "The diary is now yours." Here S?s re-creates a facsimile of the diary with excerpts handwritten upon parchment-like backgrounds on double-page spreads brimming with pencil sketches of the events described (e.g., "The road looks like a cut into a beautiful cake"). He then magnifies the more uncanny aspects of the journal via the tales told to him by his father, recollected from childhood, which are printed on the succeeding spread. One entry describes a boy wearing bells who tracks down the filmmaker in the middle of nowhere to deliver a letter from his family; S?s then follows with "The Jingle-Bell Boy," festooning the account with a trail of rhododendron-leaf markings that lead his father ultimately to the Dalai Lama. The guileless prose of both father and son makes S?s's juxtaposition of the journal records with his own childhood memories all the more poignant. The luminous colors of the artwork, the panoramas of Tibetan topography and the meticulous intermingling of captivating details and the mystical aspects of Tibetan culture make this an extraordinary volume that will appeal to readers of all ages. Author tour. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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