I first visited Borobdur in 2009 on what amounted to a visa run out of Malaysia, I figured if I have to go somewhere, then I should go to Borobudur, which I knew of for a long time but had never visited.
In preperation for the trip I had searched for information about the site as I knew very little about it, and wanted to be able to appreciate what I was seeing, of course. Little did I think I would be writing a book about Borobudur years later.
During that first visit I was really inspired by the monument, and I quickly returned again a few months later, and over the years I have visited the monument numerous times, getting better photographs each time, until I have photographed and made available almost all the panels from the monument.
Around 2011 I was contacted by Ehipassiko, a publisher in Jakarta, asking if they could use some of my photographs in their books, I not only gave permission – all photos are published for others to use as they wish anyway – but sent them the entire collection on DVD.
I never thought much of that until I was put in touch with them again around 2015 as a potential publisher for a book I had prepared about Borobudur. Later that year I visited the group at their headquarters and we quickly became friends and collaborators on a number of projects.
In April this year they published a book I had on some of the panels at Borobudur, which tells the story of the Life of the Buddha according to the early Sanskrit work Lalitavistara. I wrote a summary of each of the 120 panels, to go along with each of the photographs.
I have also written an introduction to the monument itself, added diagrams, and a translation of the first discourse (Dharmacakrapravattanasutra) as it appears in Lalitavistara.
Ehipassiko themselves did a translation into Bahasa Indonesian, for a dual-language edition, and also did the very fine layout on the book, and it was published and distributed to 100s of centers around Indonesia in time for Vesak this year.
The book has now been made available to me in PDF format and I am publishing it on my Photo Dharma website in PDF and Flipbook formats. It is very well designed and I am very grateful to Ehipassiko for allowing me to make it available in this way. Full credits are inside the book itself.