Abbot on Art
Drawing from his own rich background and expertise in Buddhist cultural and artistic traditions, Abbot Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin of Namgyal Monastery, Mustang, gives his personal perspective on selected artworks, their meaning and their usage in the Rubin Museum collection. The tour will be moderated by Senior Curator, Christian Luczanits and translated by Kunzom Thakuri.
As abbot of one of the oldest and most prestigious monasteries in the Upper Mustang, Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin brings with him the knowledge of hundreds of years of Buddhist artistic and cultural traditions. Founded in the 13th century and belonging to the Ngor School of Tibetan Buddhism, Namgyal Monastery has always been a haven for religious scholarship and a repository for an extremely rich artistic heritage. Having grown up in Mustang and having attended the monastery as a young student, Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin has developed a personal relationship to the artworks his monastery houses. It is this relationship, among others, that Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin will draw from when he delivers a tour of the Rubin Museum. This tour will be the first event relating to a future exhibition on the artistic heritage of Mustang.
About the Speaker
Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin is the abbot of Namgyal Monastery, one of the most prestigious and active monasteries in the region of Upper Mustang, Nepal. His school, a branch of the Sakya School, is known for its scholarship as well as its patronage of art works of the highest quality. Since becoming abbot in 2004, Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin has seen to it that the monastery remains at the forefront of Buddhist monastic education. Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin has recognized the importance of such a place in the harsh realities of the region, and thus continues to develop education in the area. In 2009 he founded a monastic school in Pokhara where students can receive Buddhist teachings even during the long winters.