For the first time in history, the notoriously guarded warrior monks of the fifteen-hundred-year-old Shaolin Temple—a Chinese Buddhist sect dedicated to preserving a form of kung fu known as the "vehicle of Zen"—have allowed their secretive society to be documented.
Justin Guariglia earned the trust and full collaboration of the Shaolin monks, to create an astonishing, empathic record of the Shaolin art form and the individuals who consider themselves the keepers of these traditions. This amazing work by one of today's most promising photographers provides a rare opportunity to examine the energy and spirit of Shaolin's unique Zen practice. The work examines the nature of qi, the concept of an elusive universal energy. The title Tong Jian Quan is loosely translated as "through the shoulder fist."
Justin Guariglia (born in Livinston, New Jersey, 1974) lived in Asia for nearly a decade and now resides in New York City. He has worked for National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, and Newsweek. Guariglia was nominated for the International Center of Photography’s Young Photographer Infinity Award, received an Eddie Adams Workshop award, and was named by Photo District News as one of the top “30 Young Photographers under 30.”