Tenzing Paljor, a self taught Tibetan photographer, took up photography in the mid-1990s. He has since dedicated his work to the documentation of endangered cultures and societies, particularly those in the Himalaya.
Raised in Darjeeling in the northeastern Indian Himalaya, Tenzing has since lived and worked in Nepal, the United States, the Philippines, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. His nomadic way of life and global perspective have nurtured a keen awareness for the urgent need to document cultures facing the disintegration of their traditional identities and values due to political conflict and encroaching modernization.
From an early childhood Tenzing grew to appreciate the richness and cultural diversity of his surroundings. The foothills and rain forest of Northeast India are framed by the geographic convergence of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh. With an estimated 130 major tribes speaking more than 220 languages, this region comprises one of the largest and most remote concentrations of distinct ethnic cultures in the world.
In 2007 Tenzing initiated the Vanishing Himalaya, an ongoing photographic project to document Tibetan cultural heritage in the Himalaya, where remoteness and inaccessibility have largely preserved Tibetan Buddhist way of life. While this region is still characterized as one of the last enclaves of pure Tibetan culture on earth, indigenous peoples have been increasingly forced to face grave challenges such as border disputes, mass tourism, modern commerce and globalization, trends that are rapidly eroding tradition.
For two consecutive years (2006-2008), Tenzing was awarded grants for the Vanishing Himalaya project for work in India and Nepal Himalaya by the Rowell Fund for Tibet. He has had solo exhibits in India, Afghanistan, the United States and the Philippines and his work is held in a number of private and public collections. In 2009 one of his works was auctioned at Christie’s Auction House in New York City.
Tenzing is currently based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia