Shaolin: Temple of Zen

Aperture Foundation
Justin Guariglia, Matthew Polly (Introduction), Shi Yong Xin (Foreword), 2007


"This work documents, for the first time in history, the notoriously guarded warrior monks of the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple. Guariglia earned the trust and full collaboration of the Shaolin monks, creating an empathetic record of the Shaolin art forms and the individuals who consider themselves the keepers of these traditions." --Photo District News

"Photos capture cloistered monks and kung fu tradition." -- Diane Haithman --The Los Angeles Times

"The book also included black-and-white shots taken at night, lit by just one dim light bulb. These shots are highly atmospheric but they also reflect genuine kung fu practice and the extent of Guariglia's achievement in getting access -- the monks traditionally did kung fu at night so that no one could see what they were doing." -- Diane Smyth -- The British Journal of Photography


From the Publisher

In these images, Justin Guariglia has captured one of the last oases of pure, unaffected Chinese culture. This sumptuous book is a must for anyone whose imagination is captivated by the search for the edge of human boundaries in a distant land. Justin Guariglia's photographs reveal an extraordinary culture dedicated to the pursuit of discipline and excellence--where mind and body are stretched to the extreme. 
-Edward Burtynsky


Justin Guariglia provides a first--a perceptive look at the real monks of Shaolin Temple, their most inner sanctums, their devotional practice, and their traditional disciplines. He captures portraits of these venerated, compassionate warriors, who have survived the Cultural Revolution and ravenous tourists of modern China, and who stand guard at the very birthplace of the martial arts and Zen. 
--Gene Ching, Kung Fu Magazine