Tashi Gurung is a Thangka and Mandala artist from Lo Manthang, Nepal.
In 1999, Tashi and several other artists began restoring 500-year-old Buddhist murals in local gompas (monasteries). Tashi helped to restore Jampa, Thupchen, Tsarang, and other Buddhist gompas, as documented in the NOVA PBS documentary "Lost Treasures of Tibet".
Tashi then went on several UNESCO-sponsored trips to Bhutan, Nepal, Ladakh in India, Tibet, and Kham in China to take part in the restoration of other Buddhist monasteries.
Inspired by this experience, Tashi traveled to Kathmandu and for 5 years studied the ancient painting and iconography from Master Thangka Painter Mukti Singh Thapa.
Lo Manthang is only open to tourists 2-3 months a year due to the cold Tibetan winters and long monsoon seasons. Tashi is painting Thangkas in other months and sometimes escapes to the warmer Kathmandu.
All thangkas are hand-painted on local hand-made rice paper. For traditional Mustang Thangkas, Tashi uses local mineral pigments from semiprecious stones like vermillion or orpiment. These are ground to powder for 3 months and then mixed with Yak ghee and water. 24-carat gold is used in some Thangkas as well.
Check out Tashi's solo exhibit at Art House SF, The Last Kingdom.