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  • Writer's pictureMariah Harkey

Preserving Authentic Tibetan Art

Last year, I had the privilege of filming Tibetan thangka master Tashi Dhargyal, who has been working on this art project for over five years involving the use of traditional Tibetan painting practices. Tashi's studio (The Tibetan Gallery + Studio) is found in the heart of Sebastopol, California, in my hometown of Sonoma County. I had learned about Tashi through my workplace and wanted to take the opportunity to film him for our Sonoma "Insider" series while he was still finishing this massive 2-story canvas.

Although the size is remarkable enough, what's really incredible is that Tashi is the first Tibetan to paint a piece as large as this in traditional methods outside of Tibet. He was even contacted by the Representative of the Dalai Lama, who told him that he was thrilled to learn that Tashi is opening a studio where the rich tradition of Tibetan arts will be showcased. The traditional methods constitute as a hand-prepared canvas, hand ground mineral pigments, and 24k gold. Tashi will be finished with this canvas anytime soon in 2018, and is planning to donate the canvas to a monastery.

I was able to catch Tashi while he was putting his final 24-k gold touches to his masterpiece below:

See a few of the photos I had taken on this day with Tashi at his studio in Sebastopol, California below:

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