Gyalyum Kunzang Dechen Tsomo Namgyal
Gyalyum Kunzang Dechen Tsomo Namgyal (1906-1987) was the Queen Mother of Sikkim, who made regular trips to Tibet in order to see her relatives. She was a Tibetan from Lhasa, from the Rangsha family, one of the Six Clans.
On one of her pilgrimage journeys to Central Tibet, in 1935 or 1936, she took many pictures with an Agfa camera she had brought with her. Among others, she took the famous photo of the ‘Looks Like Me’ statue in Samye Monastery.
‘Looks Like Me’ (Tib. guru ngadrama) is an image of Padmasambhava which was made from life and blessed by him in the eighth century in Tibet. It is believed that on seeing this statue at Samyé, he remarked, “It looks like me,” and then blessed it, saying, “Now it is the same as me!”
The original black and white photograph was then computer enhanced according to the advice of lamas who had seen the original, which was sadly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.