Wisdom Dharma Chats | Rabkar Wangchuk
Born in Dharamsala, India, Rabkar studied Tibetan Buddhist Tantra and Philosophy for seventeen years at Gyudmed Tantric University in South India. Rabkar received training in Tibetan thangka painting and arts from revered Tibetan masters such as Venerable Ngawang Norbu and Venerable Sangye Yeshi. After moving to the West, Rabkar’s style has continued evolving into its own unique form. Using both traditional Tibetan Buddhist artistic methods and contemporary styles, he merges Tibetan imagery with modern iconography of consumerism and hybrid identities. His approach melds light and dark, East and West, in extraordinary and unexpected ways, bringing humor and a depth of meditative searching and self-awareness to the work.
We’ll be celebrating the launch of Rabkar’s first solo exhibit, Mystery of Life, which includes his colorful pop-art acrylic paintings, mineral pigment on silk pieces, and 3D installations. He and host Daniel Aitken discuss his time studying with Venerable Ngawang Norbu, Rabkar’s inspiration behind the pieces in this exhibit, and much more.
Mystery of Life at HereNowSpace in New York, which runs from June 7 to June 24, features pieces that Rabkar started at the onset of the pandemic, when his mother passed away. Dedicated to her memory, the work reflects on a mother’s everlasting love for her child, despite being separated by an ocean. Upon realizing the boundless nature of love after her passing, Rabkar returned to what he knows best: using a paintbrush and canvas, transforming his grief into artistic expression. Creating one piece after another in the silence of his atelier amid lockdown, each artwork is a meditation on the fleeting moment unfolding into the unknown. The exhibition will also feature the sculptures of guest artist Michela Martello, who is similarly influenced by Tibetan art and Buddhism.