MOCRA Exhibitions

The images in this exhibition, the first St. Louis showing of photography by Regina DeLuise,
were made in Bhutan during 2010 and center on the ordinary surroundings of a remarkable culture
whose history is intricately woven with Tibetan Buddhism.

Regina DeLuise: Vast Bhutan exhibition logo

January 24 - May 10, 2015

     free public opening reception with the artist
     Saturday, January 24     2 - 4 p.m.

General Exhibition Information
Hours:  Tues - Sun, 11 am - 4 pm
Admission:  free, with suggested donation of $5/adults, $1/students and children

Directions and Parking information

Please note that a campus construction project currently impedes access to MOCRA from Laclede Ave. and Spring Ave. 
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Group visit information 

About the exhibition

The images in this exhibition, taken in Thimpu, Bhutan in 2010, center on the ordinary surroundings of a culture both remarkable and mysterious (Bhutan only opened its borders in the 1950s and still strongly restricts tourism). Bhutan’s history is intricately woven with Tibetan Buddhism. There is little separation: Monks and lamas are a vibrant and integral part of the community, elders spend their days in prayer, young and old make their pilgrimage to monasteries that seem to hang from the sides of mountains. The idea of devotion in every aspect of one's life is not exotic or unrealistic.

Regina DeLuise, Pasang, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Regina DeLuise
Pasang, Thimphu, Bhutan 

archival pigment print

33 x 29 in

image courtesy of the artist


While planning a sabbatical, artist Regina DeLuise was captivated by both the natural beauty of the Bhutanese landscape and the Bhutanese government’s interest in measuring the country’s Gross National Happiness. Through the Bhutan Foundation, she was introduced to Voluntary Artists’ Studio, Thimphu, popularly known as VAST, which seeks to provide Bhutanese youth with opportunities to develop vocational skills, share social responsibilities, and interact with the national and international art realm. During her extended seven-week sojourn in Bhutan, recalls DeLuise, “I was very fortunate to be welcomed into this remarkable group of artists, mentoring and teaching children about all aspects of creative living.”

Regina DeLuise, Three Statues, Painting School, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Regina DeLuise
Three Statues, Painting School, Thimphu, Bhutan 

platinum/palladium photograph

8 x 10 in

image courtesy of the artist


DeLuise’s photos attend to the material aspects of a spiritual life. She notes, “The physical nature of working with an 8×10 view camera places me solidly in the physical world. The palladium print is another layer of the sensual and tactile reality that has always been at the heart of my work.” Continuing her investigation into the mundane and sublime aspects of her surroundings, with light as her central theme, the generosity of the culture is at the heart of this work. DeLuise says, “Young artists, monks and ‘householders’ welcomed me into their lives to document and explore a culture so different from my own.”

Regina DeLuise with 8 x 10 camera

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

     above left: Regina DeLuise with 8 x 10 view camera
     above right: Taktsang Palphug Monastery ("Tiger's Nest"), Bhutan
     images courtesy of Regina DeLuise 

About the artist

Regina DeLuise was born in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MA from Rosary College, Graduate School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993. Her work is in the collection of a number of major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Presently DeLuise serves as the Chair of Photography at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD.

DeLuise has worked as far abroad as Italy, India, Nepal, and, most recently Thimphu, Bhutan. Light is at the heart of DeLuise’s practice, whether she is photographing the body, a landscape, or a still life. In addition to palladium prints, over the last few years she has begun producing archival ink jet prints from her 8×10 negatives, intrigued by the larger image and the access it offers the viewer.

Regina DeLuise, Wrapped Statue, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Regina DeLuise
Wrapped Statue, Thimphu, Bhutan

archival pigment print

33 x 29 in

image courtesy of the artist


Additional links

Watch the "Show Me St. Louis" feature on MOCRA and Vast Bhutan:

Show Me St. Louis splash screen

Artist website

Hear Regina DeLuise discuss Vast Bhutan on "Cityscape"

Learn more about Voluntary Artists' Studio, Thimphu (VAST)

Read about Bhutan on Wikipedia

Read about Bhutan on BBC News website
Tourism Council of Bhutan website

Learn more about large format view cameras

Vast Bhutan in the media

Regina DeLuise speaks about artist Adrian Kellard on MOCRA Voices

Map of Bhutan

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First Fridays in Grand Center

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