Founders' Message


"Thangka Paintings are one of the most familiar forms of Buddhist paintings we see around. As Buddhist scroll paintings travelled from India to Tibet around the 7th century A.D., they were known as thangka paintings. Thangka paintings developed and flourished for over a thousand years in Tibet. After the occupation of Tibet in 1959, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama sought asylum in India. Tibetan masters and the artists carried with them the rich tradition of Buddhist paintings back to its Indian birthplace. India became the new soil for the preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist art and culture with Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh in Northern India, as its epicentre from where the Buddhist teachings and art was to spread to rest of the world." 
 
"Master Locho is an eminent thangka painter. He was born on January 15, 1970, and presently resides in Dharamsala, India. Master Locho has studied thangka painting since 1988 under the guidance of Master Tempa Choephel, a Master teacher at the prestigious Norbulingka Institute located in Dharamsala. The Norbulingka Institute is a center for preserving Tibetan arts and culture, and Master Locho worked there as an artist and then as an Assistant Master until 2001.He is committed to the practice and preservation of the Buddhist paintings in its traditional form. He is currently considered one of the finest and most senior teachers of Buddhist paintings. Master Locho has dedicated his life to the preservation and promotion of endangered Buddhist art and continues to create some of masterpiece paintings today. 
After completing my graduation from the prestigious Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi University in the year 1997, I was blessed with an opportunity to study Buddhist thangka paintings at the Norbulingka Institute in Dharamshala under the tutelage of Master Tempa Choephel. In 2015, after studying thangka painting, I pursued my Master’s degree in Buddhist and Tibetan studies from the Panjab University, Chandigarh. In 2021, I completed PhD from Central University of Himachal Pradesh. Both Master Locho and myself co-founded the “Center for Living Buddhist Art”, in Dharamsala which includes the “Thangde Gatsal Art Studio and School” as well as the “Museum of Himalayan Arts”."
 
"Over the last 22 years of teaching and exhibiting in India and around the world, we realised the growing interest among people to learn and practice thangka painting. While some could afford to travel far-away places to take training or find masters and schools; others hoped that one day there would be a more accessible way to learn. I still meet people who tell me that they waited their entire life to find a master, a school or the opportunity to learn! These expressions always motivated me to reach out to them and help them learn and grow. We created in the year 2001, the ‘Thangde Gatsal Art Studio and School’. It offers workshops and courses, both online as well as at school, to anyone interested in learning. Traditionally the courses were long demanding many years of commitment, but the school has customised special courses, ranging from one week to several years."  
"Aiming to introduce the onlookers to the highest quality of artistic expressions in Buddhist thangka paintings possible in the 21st century and to depict the 2300 years journey of Buddhist paintings to the world under one roof. Our travels abroad as well as our visit to the museums, inspired us to create and collect our masterpiece paintings and display this journey and our rich cultural heritage under one roof. The Museum of Himalayan Arts, completed in 2020, is envisioned to connect us to the rich cultural heritage of India especially the Himalayan region and the state of Himachal Pradesh. The ‘Museum of Himalayan Arts’ aims to generate awareness about the Buddhist Art through contemporary quality thangka works based on the tradition carried forward by Indian and Tibetan masters. The Center is a window to the 2,300 years old journey of the tradition of Buddhist paintings and the evolution of art through ages and geographies. The Museum of Himalayan Arts exhibits masterpiece Buddhist paintings created by both Master Locho and myself, depicting the 2300 years journey of Buddhist paintings. Currently there are 40 masterpiece paintings displayed at the Museum of Himalayan Arts. It has taken more than twenty years to create these paintings. Some paintings have taken four to seven years to complete. The museum depicts the journey that Buddhist paintings have made from India to Tibet and from Tibet back to India through Goddess Green Tara."
"Through masterpiece paintings of Green Tara, requiring years of intense research and artistic expressions. In the masterpiece paintings, Goddess Green Tara can be seen depicting stylistic evolution from Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, Tabo Monastery in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, from Alchi monastery in Ladakh, from Tibet and the Indian mainland in Dharamsala. Goddess Green Tara can also be seen painted in pure gold and pure silver apart from many forms. Other paintings exhibited in the Museum are Buddha Sakyamuni with Maitreya and Manjushree, Sitatapatra with 1000 hands, 1000 heads and 1000 feet, Avalokitesvara with 1000 arms in pure gold, Saraswati, Medicine Buddha Mandala, Amitabha Buddha, Sri Devi, Avalokitesvara Mandala amongst many others. The materials, tools and colours are also exhibited at the museum. Digital visual images run through the screen showcasing the steps in the creation of each painting as well as the meticulous details of each painting, that we can easily miss while viewing at the paintings. The museum, in the spiritual context, is visiting the transcendental space, the celestial space of the enlightened beings- the deities; the journey from the mundane to the heavenly. Anyone coming in proximity to these paintings feels elevated! The size of the paintings varies from four feet to 11 feet high."

"We simply could not resist sharing these masterpieces with the outside world. Museum Quality Archival Prints were created so anyone could acquire these masterpiece artworks, that too at affordable range. Shipped within India as well as abroad, our Archival Prints can be framed in wooden frames and silk brocades. These Artworks are consecrated and comes with the description, a handwritten note from Master Locho and Dr. Sarika Singh." 
"The Artwork acquired from the Museum of Himalayan Arts carries a legacy and the journey of the Art and the Artists! It helps the onlooker, a practitioner, meditator, the artist, the patron- the opportunity to cultivate qualities of love, kindness, compassion, wisdom, perseverance, wisdom, morality, perseverance and determination. This results in the spiritual elevation! Come get connected with us… Visit the Museum, learn to draw, acquire artworks and Enjoy the Bliss!!!! 
I often wonder, so, does each one who comes in direct contact with this ancient tradition…..Does the Artist create the Deity or the Deity creates the Artist! Lets keep guessing till our paths cross some day!" 
Metta- 
Dr. Sarika Singh!