VAN BREEST SMALLENBURG
Shangrila (former Tibet, now China) is where this videoinstallation was developed.
Single screen video installation.
In the mountains of China's province Yunnan, halfway the Himalayas, lies the town of Zhongdian, which was renamed Shangrila. Shangrila breathes Tibetan culture. The spiritual father of Shangri-la is
the English writer James Hilton. He invented a mythical place in the Tibetan highlands, Shangri-La and described this poetic place in 1933 in his book 'Lost Horizon'.
Shangrila, is a town at 3200 metres above sea level and most newcomers are dizzy the first few days, because the air is so thin that any effort makes you gasping for breath even with a good condition. The story of Lost Horizon is largely set in a Buddhist monastery. Around Shangrila there are several monasteries, but before reaching a mountain monastery you will have to climb the countless steps up the mountains while the thin air makes you pant and puff.
Mountains surround the monastery, with eternal snow on the summer peaks. The grazing yaks are fascinating; a kind of a long-haired cows. Their meat is the most popular local dish. And of course everywhere in Shangrila yakbuttertea is served. This local delicacy is made from yakmilk, yak butter, salt and hot water. (text Iris Hannema)