Orgyan Chopel was chosen as an incarnated lama at age 13, and raised as a Living Buddha at the Ganden Monastery in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. He learned the traditional art of Thangka paintings, that serve as an important teaching tool, depicting the life of the Buddha, but also medical science, astronomy and math. Under the influence of Tantra, the iconography of this ancient Tibetan art form grew ever more comprehensive, so that its meaning remains sealed to anyone’s eye but the initiate’s.
In this sense Orgyan Chopel’s paintings give new life to the age-old art of Thangkas by reimagining them for a contemporary audience. He translates cryptic Buddhism into a simplified language of symbols, easier to understand and accept. In his paintings, Chopel includes poems, which express the Buddhist thought behind them.
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