Tomasz Gudzowaty: The Monks of Shaolin

Polish photo-essayist Tomasz Gudzowaty has a deep commitment to documenting the often neglected area of non-commercial, non-mainstream sports and sporting activities. A law graduate from the University of Warsaw, he initiated himself into photography through work on nature, and then onto the social documentary, before arriving at his passion for non-commercial sports photography. Not unlike accomplished and critically acclaimed socially committed photo-essayists like W.Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado, Gudzowaty chooses to express himself solely in the absence of colour, through remarkable black and white. The classic photo essay is often often identified as the one that is black and white – pitching itself into representing ‘stark reality’ as opposed to the distractions that colour might impose on the image, preventing the viewer from appreciating ‘the whole’. Non commercial sports also present unique moments, moments that Gudzowaty captures with mastery in his photo essay on the monks of the ancient fifth century Shaolin monastery in the Henan provice of China, a monastery well known for its martial arts practice of Shaolin Kung Fu. Take a look.

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