Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thanka Painting & Lekshey Choejor

Traveling monks used scroll paintings as teaching visuals. They were easily rolled up and taken to the next monastery. Scenes of Lord Buddha's life and other important Bodhisattvas (saints) were depicted.

In a small quiet room, off the assembly hall, we find Lekshey Choejor working on a thanka painting for Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It is a vision of Lord Buddha, with vivid eye-catching colors. First the picture is drawn on with pencil and then painted with primaries and brights. Lekshey blends colors for shading effects.

Lekshey is from very small village of 15 families near Nyamgyal in the Mustang area of Nepal. When he was 11 years old he spent his day as a shepherd, watching over the goats and sheep. He returned home one night to find that Lama Kunga was visiting his village looking for boys who wanted to become monks. Lekshey traveled with his grandfather for five days on foot, and then they got a bus to Kathmandu. There he joined the Pema Ts'al Monastery in its infancy.
Lekshey is now 22 years old.

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