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  • Writer's pictureFelicia Wenyun Guo

Peace, Power & Joy---Cindy’s Thangka Special Collection

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

By Felicia W. Guo

Walking into this exhibition, I instantly felt surrounded by enormous colors, images and strong energies. Thangka, this artistic and mysterious art form, finally arrived at the Lower East Side of New York City thanks to Art Collector Cindy Ye, who has selected 58 special pieces from her Thangka collection. She is hoping to share the wonderful energy of these pieces with the people of New York.

Thangka is a kind of drawing that is infused with traditional crafts.

Each pigment is made from natural minerals, plants, and other sources. These pigments are then painted on polished cotton clothes. The drawings are about Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan history, legends, folklore, astronomy, medicine, geography, and so on.

Traditionally, Thangka paintings are not only valued for their aesthetic beauty, but primarily for aiding in meditational practices. Practitioners use Thangka to develop a clear visualization of a particular deity, strengthening their concentration, and forging a link between themselves and said deity. Historically, Thangka were also used as teaching tools to convey the lives of various masters. A teacher, or “lama”, would travel around giving talks on dharma, carrying with him large Thangka scrolls to illustrate his stories.

This exhibit has three very special sections: one on Siddhartha, one on Bodhisattva, and another one by the gods.

Two of the Thangka scrolls have been reinforced with protective mantra and has the signatures of the Karmapa, and one Thangka scroll was reinforced by Rinpoche. Thangka is a way of life, and is different from other works of art due to the motivation behind their creation. Thangka is not necessarily the product of an artist’s imagination, but a carefully executed blueprint. The role of the Thangka scroll creator is different from the Western conception of an artist. The creator of the Thangka scroll is a medium; he will rise above his own consciousness to bring forth a higher truth into the material world. To this end, he must diligently adhere to the strict guidelines set forth by the creation of these holy items.

The largest Thangka of the exhibition is Buddhas of the three times---the buddhas of the past, present and future, represented by Dipamkara (the Buddha of the past), Shakyamuni (present) and Maitreya (future).

Interestingly, this particular Thangka has been hanging in Cindy’s office from its humble beginnings, watching over her as it soared to prosperity. The team firmly believes that this Thangka granted them powers during some very difficult times. If they meet the right buyer with the right karma, they would be willing to sell this Thangka. All the proceeds of this particular sale will be donated to charity.

Collector Cindy Ye stated

"please join in the blessing by setting your gaze on these Thangka scrolls at the exhibition, they will bring you into peaceful and joyful state of mind".
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