KSDJ TEMPLE THANGKA PROJECT 2024 – 100 Peaceful and Wrathful Deities

The Project

Kagyu Samye Dzong Johannesburg (KSDJ) has the precious opportunity to commission two large thangkas for the KSDJ Temple Project. The subject for two thangkas is the 100 Peaceful and Wrathful Deities (42 Peaceful and 58 Wrathful deities respectively). The paintings will be positioned in the lounge within the Lamas’ Apartment, which is on the storey above the temple. It is an appropriate place where we hope that high Lamas will stay in the future.\

What is the significance of having these two thangkas made for our new temple? Lama Yeshe Rinpoche has specifically indicated that placing these particular thangkas in the temple is most meaningful since the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities encompass everything, and having the thangkas in the temple will benefit so many beings. We follow in the footsteps of Rinpoche’s brother Akong Rinpoche, who also placed a thangka of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities in his personal audience room in the Akong Labrang in Kagyu Samye Ling, Scotland.

The Artist

The works are to be painted by Dipa Yonzon, a well-known, talented artist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. She completed the six-year thangka painting training from the impeccable Tsering Art School at Shechen Monastery, Boudhanath, graduating in 2016. under the guidance of master thangka painter Konchog Lhadrepa. This school follows the Karma Gadri painting style, favoured by both Nyimpa and Kagyu lineages. After her studies, Dipa helped with running the Tsering Art School. She now works as a full-time artist, contributing to many projects for monasteries and temples in Nepal and India over the past few years, as well as private commissions. She previously painted the Machig Labdrön thangka for the Randburg Center (KSDR). You can see the artist’s process for this past project here. We wish to foster a continuing relationship with the artist as part of an effort to receive the benefit and blessing of exemplary, authentic thangkas and to bring a broader knowledge of this art form to the Buddhist community in South Africa.

The total cost for the two thangkas is $5600 USD. This will be compensated to the artist. The amount includes the exquisitely hand-painted features of all the deities and surrounding details with colours, and gold painting. The artist has generously indicated that she will arrange the brocade frames for the thangkas as an offering to the temple. Due to the complexity and scale of the subject, the artist will take six months to complete the works, with the completion date projected by February 2025. We welcome contributions of any amount to this project. Each and every person will be acknowledged for their donation, no matter how big or small. Or, if you prefer you can donate anonymously. Our banking details can be found here. When donating, please email johannesburg@kagyu.org.za to confirm your donation. We can also send a link if you prefer paying by card.

Here are two examples of the artist’s work – A painting of the16 Arhats, and Guru Rinpoche.

Project Updates

The artist will share drawings, and the painting process as she progresses with the creation of the painting. In an effort to help people understand the project better and the role and expertise of the artist, we hope to host an online talk with the artist shortly after she begins the project. Watch this space for updates!

If you would like more information about the Thangkas or the project, please email Natalie at natalie.souchon@gmail.com.