Friday, January 18, 2008

Tibet comes to the Pyramid

Kechara is holding its first public thangka exhibition at Sunway Pyramid this weekend. Thangkas are exquisite Tibetan paintings - usually of Buddhist deities or mandalas. All the thangkas on exhibition come from Nepal and are brightly coloured with the most elaborate ones painted with real gold. Thangkas are also traditionally brocaded with real gold thread and silks - all the best to represent our offering to the great Englightenment thought.

So the orange wing at LG2 Sunway Pyramid has turned into a Himalayan bazaar overnight - with stunning thangkas, gleaming singing bowls, painted tsatsas, consecrated wealth vases, shiny prayer wheels in copper and brass, silver mandala sets, gold plated serkym sets amongst others. A veritable treasure trove of Tibetan artefacts.

Kunga, our genuine Tibetan artist, who came to Malaysia specially for the exhibition is even giving classes on thangka painting. Joy, assistant director of Kechara Saraswati and other volunteers from her team are also here - showing people how to paint statues.

And we even have Raj, our visiting super tailor from Nepal, who has set up a sewing station to demonstrate the intricate sewing of brocade for the thangkas.

Several Kechara members and friends are sprinkled throughout the aisle, sharing with curious onlookers little known facts and explanations about each item. Of course KMP is here with its little table, which I am manning, offering our Tsongkhapa calendar for sale at a discount since we're already steaming away into January. Poor Tsongkhapa to be on discount, but on the other hand, if we can promote his image to bless more people, why not. It's the motivation that counts after all. KMP also has some of Rinpoche's books and audio book here too. Though officially we weren't really allowed to sell anything - it was meant to just be an exhibition but don't tell anyone, ok?

Anyway, it's all for a good cause. So let's hope we don't get a complaint from Sunway - though if we do, it's nothing new...

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