[Pema Namdol Thaye’s] dedication as a professional Tibetan thanka painter in preserving and promoting this Tibetan art form is inspiring.
People immediately connect with Thaye’s depictions of Bercholz’s harrowing, Dante-esque journey, whether they’re simply interested in graphic art or curious about how religious teachings can be transmitted through contemporary painting. Either way, visitors will be able to enjoy the kind of masterful visual storytelling that has always appealed to audiences: the thrilling, the chilling and the awe-inspiring.
[Pema Namdol is] akin to Tibetan art’s ambassador to the world.
Pema Namdol Thaye is a renaissance man, such as Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci, being able to not only master the brush, but also mastering all other forms of artistry, such as, sculpturing in wood, clay and wax, as well as architectural construction.
Pema Namdol is one of the finest Tibetan artists of the twenty-first century. He is an accomplished thanka painter, modern artist, traditional architect, and illustrator of great talent and subtle understanding. His newly published limited edition Celestial Portfolio is a work of artistic genius and spiritual depth. Each print can be studied and appreciated for endless hours. I personally purchased this fine art book and cherish it as part of my collection of Himalayan Buddhist Art. Anyone who appreciates Buddhist art and the art of book-making will be pleased to own this lush presentation.”
[Pema’s] work is meticulous and his paintings impart a unique dynamism and vitality. His special combination of contemporary creativity and flair with traditional authenticity and classical beauty make his works prized by collectors and devotees alike.
Pema’s distinctive style is derived in part from his thorough traditional training…received from his older relatives, and in part from his own never-ending quest for stylistic excellence. He has synthesized the art he inherited and raised it to a still higher level of excellence.
Within the country [of Bhutan], Pema remains the most prominent artist of our times. He is also the most sought after speaker on art and culture for visitors of notable boutique travel agencies such as Geographic Exhibitions. His books have become the de facto curriculum for the traditional art schools in the country and his iconographic dimensions, the standard.
The Architecture of Enlightenment
An Article by Meher McArthur
Pema is one of the greatest living Tibetan artists and possesses a unique grasp of the many facets of art, architecture, symbolism, geometry, Buddhist history, iconography and spirituality that is required to create traditional Tibetan imagery. His work is not only visually spectacular but has the power to impact people and change lives.
I was hugely impressed by his mastery (at a very young age) of not one but three demanding forms of Tibetan art: thanka painting, mural painting and the construction of three-dimensional mandalas. In all of these Pema demonstrated exceptional technical and aesthetic abilities combined with profound knowledge. [Re: Pema Namdol’s participation in the International Symposium on Tibetan Art, England, 1994.]
[Pema Namdol exhibits]…the most remarkable originality, even genius, in his portrayal of the traditional themes and subjects of Tibetan icon painting.
[Pema’s ] paintings are certainly among the best worldwide due to his vast knowledge of his subject, the exceptional quality of his work and his committed adherence to maintaining the authenticity of this art’s often complex symbolic and cultural tradition. As such, his work is recognized by various experts as a crucial contribution to preserve the art and the religious culture of the Himalayas.
The construction of a three-dimensional Mandala is an enormous undertaking. The artist requires a specialized diversity to be able to master all the requisite components involved. I was continually impressed by Pema Namdol’s consummate creative abilities throughout the project. Apart from Pema Namdol’s skilled Mandala construction, his traditional Tibetan Thangkas are of a premium caliber. The Ethnographic Museum purchased three of these extraordinary art works (for its collection). [Re. the construction of a three-dimensional Shi-Tro mandala for the Volkerkunde Museum in 1990.]
As someone whose academic career has been spent researching the religious architecture of South Asia, I am especially aware of the importance of preserving the rare living tradition of three-dimensional mandala design which Mr.Thaye embodies in such an exemplary way. I believe him to be an extraordinary artist in a whole variety of media, and an exceptional person.
I regard him as one of, if not “the best” contemporary Tibetan artist alive today. Pema Namdol’s obvious commitment to maintaining the traditional roots of this somewhat endangered art form is not only commendable but also essential if the tradition is to survive the modern era.