A JQuery Photo Gallery that doesn't load images from a ul

Working on something new for a client, actually a rebuild. He is using one of the stock JQuery photo galleries, pretty sure it’s Carousel and it is slower than death.

The problem is he has a massive amount of images in a given gallery and as we all know most of these plugins run from a list of images hidden in the code. So when he gets 30, 40 or so images in a gallery the thing slows down to a crawl on page load, especially on slower internet connections.

What I am looking for, or my idea should I say, is to dynamically refresh the thumb nails (there will only be 6 or 7 visible at a given time) using AJAX calls to the database … cutting the amount of images ‘loaded’ into the page down to only the visible thumbs.

Anyone seen anything like that or know if it is possible using one of the existing JQuery photo galleries?