SHAOLIN: Temple of Zen

Over the past eight years, photographer Justin Guariglia has slowly but surely won the trust of the notoriously secretive warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple, a unique Chinese Buddhist sect dedicated to preserving a form of kung fu referred to as the “vehicle of Zen.” With the blessing of the main abbot, Shi Yong Xin, Guariglia has earned the full collaboration of the monks to create an astonishing, empathetic record of the Shaolin art forms and the individuals who consider themselves the keepers of these traditions. It is the first time the monks have allowed such extensive documentation of these masters and their centuries-old art forms – from Buddhist mudras to classical kung fu – in their original setting, a 1,500-year-old Buddhist temple.

 Shaolin Temple of Zen, Woodbury Art Museum