Wood carving S.D. [Shwe Dagon] Pagoda, Rangoon
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a carved teak screen framing the entrance to a shrine at the Shwe Dagon Paya (Pagoda), Rangoon (Yangon), in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. The detail shown in this view incorporates figures from the Burmese spirit pantheon known as nats engaged in various activities within a design of vines. The Burmese have an ancient tradition of woodcarving, at which they excel both technically and aesthetically. Beautiful, intricately-carved wooden elements such as this screen are a characteristic feature of Burmese royal and religious architecture. Klier was known as a specialist in art photography and his work was published in art books. He was interested in portraying images of glass mosaics, woodcarving and other crafts of Burma. In fact he later became a dealer in arts and crafts such as silverware and furniture.The photograph is reproduced as Plate 16 in Harry L. Tilly, 'Wood-Carving of Burma' (Rangoon, 1903), and there identified as the work of Maung Po Thit of Rangoon.