Collection Artwork
Joseph F. Rock (Vienna, Austria, 1884 – 1962, Honolulu, Hawaii)
Tsemoling, the Boy God of Choni, China, a farmer's 4-year-old son declared by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Tibetan King
c. 1925-1927
gelatin silver print on clay-coated paper with linen backing
paper size: 6 1/2 x 4 5/8 in.
The Jack Shear Collection of Photography at the Tang Teaching Museum
photographed in Choni, China, Asia
2015.1.58
Typed label adhered, verso, center: Published November 1928 P. 570 Right / Expedition # 44 & 51 Project Negative / Photo by Joseph Rock / Tsemoling, the boy god of Choni. / A farmer’s 4 year-old son declared by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Tibetan King.
Inscribed in red ink, verso, upper right: pub. NOVEMBER 1928
Stickers with barcode adhered, verso, upper center: NGM 11/1928 570 RT / PLEASE RETURN TO IMAGE COLLECTION
Second sticker with barcode adhered, verso, upper center: NGM 11/1928 570 RT

Object Label

This four-year-old boy, born to poor farmers in China, was declared the incarnation of the Tibetan king, or tsemoling, by the 13th Dalai Lama.

From the exhibition: Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy (July 9 – December 18, 2022)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.
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