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911 Prayer Flag
Installed at Namtso Lake, Tibet
For centuries Tibetans have placed prayer flags as offerings to the enlightened ones. Prayers are carried into the wind as the breeze passes over the surface of the flag. Traditionally block printed on blue, red, white, yellow and green cotton cloth and used to bring good fortune and long life, the flags invoke blessings, create auspicious circumstances and divert obstacles of all kinds. The prayer flag is flown all over the Tibetan cultural world. You can find them on mountain passes, on roof tops, above rapids and bridges, in monasteries and other places celebrating the Tibetan culture.

The images and text on the 911 Prayer Flag were gathered from the internet beginning on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I collected the images that the American corporate media kept spitting out. Some mournful and some fearful, others just political, a reactionary information feast by the media. They kept coming and I kept collecting. It was as if I was digging for victims’ remains from ground zero, or as if I were searching for some explanations for what it meant to me. I printed then onto cotton fabric and stitched them to gossamer ribbon. The prayer flag measured over 100 yards long and took me three months to complete.

After carrying the artwork from home, I pulled it from my back pack on August 28, 04 and installed the piece on the shores of the sacred Namtso Lake. Thanks to Taro for his documentary photography.
Click picture to jump to larger view.

 
Lyn Bishop 911 Prayer Flag
911 Prayer Flag
printed flags and fabric prayers
Lyn Bishop 911 Prayer Flag puja
Puja
Namtso Lake, Tibet
Lyn Bishop installing 911 Prayer Flag
Inspection
checking the fabric prayers
Lyn Bishop 911 Prayer Flag Monk
Kora Monk
Lighting the juniper incense
Lyn Bishop intalls 911 Prayer Flag
Installation
Hanging the flags
Lyn Bishop 911 Prayer Flag installation
Sunrise
Illuminated in sunshine
 

1.

911 Prayer Flag
printed flags and fabric prayers

pigment on cotton fabric,
gossamer ribbon, thread
Ten individual 10 yards x 8" lengths

 

2.

Puja
at Namtso Lake Monastery

The head monk at Namtso Lake blesses the
911 Prayer Flag.

 

3.

Inspection
at installation site

I check all the fabric prayers from home, making sure they are secure before installation.

 

4.

Kora Monk
Lights juniper incense

The kora walking monk appears with matches to light the juniper incense. He understands, and tends the sacred smoke while chanting blessings around the work.

 

5.

Installation
Hanging the flags

To the sound of the monk chanting and the sweet smell of juniper on the wind I left the grief and sadness that the images represented behind and watched their fabric forms fly, releasing endless prayers into the wind.

 

6.

Sunrise
Illuminated in sunshine

The following morning, the suns first light illuminates the work.

 
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