Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tibetan Art

Leslie and Terris Nguyen Temple are two friends of mine who have trained in traditional Tibetan thangka art techniques. Their studio, Temple Art Studios, is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand and they are involved in some absolutely amazing art projects to restore aspects of Tibetan culture, following the invasion of Tibet in the 1960s.

They are commisioned to co-ordinate the production of silk and brocade appliqué thangkas, often replicas of works which have been destroyed during the invasion. This image is of a 35 x 24 meter silk appliqué which they worked on in the 1990s and is housed at Tsurphu Monastery. I love the scale of this work ! I can't even get my head around how big that actually is, let alone how it possibly could be constructed (Leslie tells me in a very large gym, with many hands and under the auspicious eyes of Venerable Drupon Dechen Rinpoche, Abbott of Tsurphu Monastry). 1,500 meters of silks and brocades, 70 shades of colour, 70 workers and 2 years!

Leslie is also my yoga teacher and every Monday night manages to twist my body into all sorts of pretzel shapes.

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