BIA Thangka Painting Institute, Chabahil
Thangka is an artistic depiction of life of Buddha and Bodhisattvas alike. Thangka painting is a religious art used for prayer and is also one of the revered tools of meditation. Unlike usual trends of making thangkas for commercial purpose that are available in the market, the realization of need and importance in preserving the real essence of thangka culture whilst creating a working sphere for wheelchair users suffering from spinal injury, BIA Foundation initiated this project.
The BIA Thangka Painting Institute was inaugurated on July 26, 2014 by Ani Choying Dolma and Chogyal Rinpoche. The residential building offered by Chogyal Rinpoche’s mother for this project was renovated into a well facilitated disable friendly place by one of Rinpoche’s Chinese friend Li Hong — thanks to the ceaseless support and concern due to which the project commenced successfully. Currently, under the supervision of the veteran thangka teacher Ngawang Chhiri Sherpa who is a wheelchair user himself, students in wheelchair suffering from spinal injuries are learning the tools and techniques of traditional Tibetan thangka painting.
Thangkas have a therapeutic effect and requires much focus, time and energy. With thangka painting at BIA Foundation wheelchair users get the opportunity to sit in a single place and immerse into the art like a meditation, while at the same time earn their independent living and create future prospects.