Kumar Lama is a master thangka painter whose artistry has been praised by many Nyingma Lamas. Kumar Lama is a deeply dedicated teacher and yogi whose driving intention is to preserve the traditions and purity of thangka painting - and to bring this knowledge to the West.
Thangka, or Tibetan scroll painting, is a living tradition handed down from master to student. The thangka is usually mounted in brocade and hung on the walls of temples or prayer rooms as an object of refuge or supplication.
Kumar Lama painted wall murals in three Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and opened and operated a studio in Kathmandu for the training and development of other young thangka artist.
In 1988, his work was sponsored by the famous Buddhist scholar, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and during the next seven years he was invited to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France to exhibit his work and paint.
Since then he has taken over several works for Buddhist centers in Europe and also has held several successful exhibitions in different places which include-
- Insbruck, Austria 1990
- Milans,Austrial 1991
- October Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal 1991
- Kunstraum, Davos, Switzerland 1992
- Nepal Association of Traditional Artists, Kathmandu 1992
- Yoga Institute,Munich, Germany 1993
- Insbruck, Austria 1994
In 1994 Kumar Lama met Dzogchen Master, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche while exhibiting in Switzerland and was invited to come to the United States under the sponsorship of the Vajrayana Foundation and was commissioned to paint the challenging Dudjom Tersar Lineage Refuge Tree.
Completed in 1999, the 5 1/2 foot by 8 foot(unframed) Thangka painting of the Dudjom Tersar Lineage Refuge Tree is one of the largest Thangka paintings in the United States today, and is a breathtaking technical, spiritual, and artistic accomplishment that took two years to complete.
After those years of biggest accomplishment, he has been painting, teaching, and exhibiting his work throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. During that time, his exhibits have been at Pro Arts Gallery(August 2000) in Oakland and at the Sanchez Art Center(September 2001) in Pacifia where he has exhibited thangkas and his newer secular work. In addition to Thangkas, since coming to the United States, he has begun workin on a series of very unique and emotionally expressive paintings, blending eastern and western concepts, depicted through scenes of Tibetan life.
Kumar Lama is a very dedicated teacher, artist and a serious lifelong Buddhist practitioner. He is intent on preserving the traditions and technical purity of thangka painting and, in bringing these traditions and ancient knowledge to the West, he is looking forward to developing the first generation of American Thangka painters.