Stupas enshrine Buddhist relics - this one, the most spectacular in Vientiane, holds Buddha's bosom bone. This shrine also commemorates the glories of the 16th Century Kingdom of LanXang. A statue of King Sethathiraj, who moved his capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in 1560, sits with sword in hand before the great golden stupa. To express the essence of this monument, I juxtaposed the statue of the king against only part of the stupa itself, essentially a rhythmic pattern of five spires and five shadows moving horizontally across the image. This pattern is echoed by the rhythms of nine stylized lotus leaves on the crown of stupa. If I had shown the entire structure, including its towering central spire and its huge base, the king would become a minor detail. In choosing to abstract the structure by zooming in on the king with my telephoto lens, I abstract the building and emphasize instead the somewhat incongruous body language the king uses in balancing his sword upon his knees.