Santa Ana—Sacred Realms: Temple Murals by Shashi Dhoj Tulachand is a mesmerizing display of nine oversized paintings completed by one extraordinary 69-year-old Buddhist monk named Shashi Dhoj Tulachan. Tulachan is a second generation thangka artist living in Tuksche, a remote village located in Mustang, Nepal’s northernmost district adjacent to Tibet. Shashi Dhoj Tulachan has devoted much of his life to the restoration of a nearby 18th century gompo (Tibetan monastery) known as the Chhairo Gompa.
Tulachan is part of a local initiative, the Kali Gandaki Foundation Trust, which is dedicated to raising money to preserve the Chhairo Gompa. Shashi Dhoj Tulachan has painted this set of images by combining the traditional motifs of one of the foremost schools recognized by high-level monks in Tibet today, the Tibetan Karma Ghadri School, with images that are purely and cleverly of his imagination. The vibrant colors he used are made from natural mineral pigments. A video is also included in the exhibition, illustrating this natural mineral process.
The practice of thangka painting is centuries old and is an art carried out by highly trained monks for the purpose of teaching about Buddha and the tenets of the Buddhist religion. The overwhelming amount of detailed imagery in each painting includes deities, mythologies, and the use of repeated and abstracted design. For those seeking enlightenment, thangka paintings exist as objects of meditation.
The paintings in this collection are not thangkas in the traditional sense. Thangkas are usually much smaller and are rolled on canvas so that they can be easily transported and hung anywhere for teaching. The thangkas exhibited here are similar in size to mural paintings found in monasteries. These paintings also deviate from the rules for the creation of a thangka where the exact use of color, shape, proportion, characteristics and qualities of the imagery are all strictly regulated.
weekday | weekend
$13* | $15*
Seniors (62 & over) & Student
$10* | $12*
Children (under 12)
Free* | Free*
Purchase tickets online at bowers.org/tickets *Pricing subject to change. Additional exhibitions may have special pricing.
Thank you to the Target Corporation for making access possible to all visitors on Target Free First Sundays and to the Nicholas Endowment for sponsoring our Family Festivals on the first Sunday of each month. Bowers also offers free general admission to Santa Ana residents, with proof of residency, each Tuesday, through a generous donation in memory of Dorothy Goerl and courtesy of the Lockhart Family.
THE BOWERS MUSEUM
Enjoy a leisurely luncheon at award-winning Tangata. Outdoor seating is also available, overlooking the Bowers historic mission-style courtyard from 11 AM to 3 PM. Browse the rare and exotic at the Bowers Museum Gallery Store. It’s more than just a shopping trip—it’s a cultural experience.
The Bowers Museum has earned an international reputation through its world-class exhibitions, including Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor, Secrets of the Silk Road, and Mummies – Death and the Afterlife: Treasures from the British Museum, as well as its own extensive art collections from throughout the Americas and the South Pacific. In addition, the Bowers’ Kidseum, located one block south of the main museum, engages children through extensive activities designed to encourage creativity and inspire imagination.
Bowers Museum and Kidseum are closed on Mondays, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Regular operating hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM.
BOWERS MUSEUM, in Santa Ana, is centrally located in the heart of Southern California.
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