Jamyang, Singe: Thanka Painting Around the World

The following article is from the Spring, 1989 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Jamyang Singe is a master thanka painter who offers his students the unique opportunity to study this meditative form of sacred art either in America or abroad in Tibet, Bhutan or India.

Singe was born in Tibet to a family with a long lineage of master craftsmen. However, in 1959 his family was forced to flee to India where at the age of six he was placed in a monastery to be raised as a monk. As a teenager he received intensive training in Buddhist doctrine, meditation and art. After many years of committed work he was recognized as a master thanka painter.

Singe has been living in the San Francisco bay area where he has established the Kharma Gardri Tibetan Art Institute which offers weekly classes in thanka painting throughout the bay area.

In July he will be offering a one week intensive at Omega Institute in Reinbeck, New York.

In the intensive he will teach the ancient techniques used in Thanka paining. Students will learn how to use the tiksay, an esoteric graph that has been used for centuries to preserve the harmonious proportion of the sacred images in the thankas. He will demonstrate the techniques and formulas for grinding the precious gems and minerals into the jeweltoned paint used in thanka painting and will teach his students to draw the holy images of the Buddhist deities. The Tibetans believe that studying thanka painting reveals one's own Buddha nature and brings peace and spiritual realization to the artist. Instruction is compledy individualized and no previous experience with art or Buddhism is necessary.

In 1989 and 1990 Singe, together with his associate David Less, will be offering tours to India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. Not only do these trips offer an opportunity to study the technique of Thanka Painting but they also offer an esoteric, historical, religious and technical understanding of the elaborate celestial murals found in the monasteries and temples.

Singe's teaching style is patient, light and humorous. During the course of his trips there is the opportunity to visit Tibetan homes, partake in their religious ceremonies, learn recipes, sightsee, shop, trek, and ask a million questions.

For more information call Anna or David Lees, 331 Hugo Street, San Francisco, CA 94122 (415) 564-7394.

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