Master Dorjee Wangdue

Master Dorjee Wangdue was born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1962. At the age of 16, he joined Namgyal Trantric Monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and studied basic Buddhist philosophy and trantric rituals. It was his precious teacher and guide, Venerable Thubten Jamyang, a Kalachakra ceremony and ritual master assisting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who encouraged him to learn and improve his in-born talent in making religious images of appliqué.

My first appliqué thangka is a three-long life deities as the main object of the alter at the palace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Ladakh made in May, 1978. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama saw and blessed it, he found the quality of my work up to the standard and advised me to continue to improve and preserve this in-born talent of mine in Tibetan Art.

From that day on I worked very hard and further improved my skills in making appliqué thangka. I also opened an appliqué thangka study centre in Dharamsala, North India, where many younger Tibetans are trained so that this unique art making applique thangka is preserved. Teaching this art form to the younger generation of Tibetans is also important since most of the trained artists in Tibet have passed away and the Chinese also continue to restrict anything that is related to Tibetan Buddhist practice. So far I have trained 82 students who are able to make appliqué thangka.

My small contribution for reviving and preservation of the art had been recognized and certificates of appreciation and recognition were given by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Namgyal Trantric Monastery and many other Institutions of the Tibetan community.

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