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The Cycle Empire: Reflections on Tibetan Culture by Areca Books

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About the book

The author travelled to a distant realm, seeking out a cultural world in complete contrast to his own Malaysian waterfront experience. The Cycle Empire is a journey of philosophical self-contemplation undertaken while exploring a foreign land that is Tibet – pondering the details of its geographical, sociological, and religious conditions, and its dissimilitude to the country of one’s birth.

What are the variables that define Tibetan culture and produce a civilization which sets itself apart from others? Although the telos is to learn about another culture without prejudice, comparisons are inevitably made – the gaze is not pure. 

One can only note the progression of one’s thoughts which arise while witnessing an order of monks immersed in debate, or while bathing in the smoky fragrance of herbaceous incense. With tentative awe, one grasps the moment when the master apprehends the Yak, the mountaineer beholds the mountain, the Sanyasi contemplates the cycle of Samsara. 

Author & Photographer 

Eddy Izuwan bin Musa (b. 1990) is an aspiring semiotician and academician, seeking to describe the iconography and iconology of the sublime. He graduated with a Bachelor of Multimedia (Hons) in Film and Animation from the Multimedia University Cyberjaya (2012) and completed a Professional Course on Art Directing, Production Design and Editing at IMCIDTP Programme co-hosted by MET Film School, London, with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA). He is currently working as a photographer while pursuing a Masters by Research specializing in Narratology within Single-Framed Images, in the School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia.


Tristan Yap (b.1989) graduated with a Bachelor of Multimedia (Hons) in Film and Animation from the Multimedia University Cyberjaya (2012). Tristan has been a banker, attendant, animator, teacher and photographer. He has trekked Camino Francés, travelled to more than 33 countries and still finds time to show scouts how to tie a square knot. He now calls Singapore his home. 


The Cycle Empire: Reflections on Tibetan Culture 

by Eddy Izuwan Musa, Tristan Yap

Areca Books, 2020

Softcover, 17.78 cm x 25.4 cm, 200 pages


ISBN 978-967-5719-38-7

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