Tsherin Sherpa (Nepal b. 1989) comes from several generations of exiled Tibetans, many of whom have never set foot on the soil of their ancestral homeland. Trained from a young age in the art of traditional Tibetan tangka painting by his father, himself a master tangka painter, Sherpa continues a long tradition of experimenting with Tibetan Buddhist imagery. Gradually moving away from the precise discipline of tangka painting, Sherpa now deconstructs and explores the abstract possibilities of associated imagery, while still maintaining the refined techniques and rich colours and textures.

Painted on metallic leaf, Muted expression provides a different perspective of the deities, spiritual beings and mandalas that have appeared on tangkas for centuries, reconstructing stylised hands and feet in contorted arrangements, or breaking up figures into swirling compositions. Through experimentation with this disciplined art form, Sherpa provides an alternative take on the meditative energy and sacred qualities of the tradition, while similarly experimenting with format. The work is painted on textured platinum leaf, echoing the luminescence of the aged gold found in Buddhist art.

Exhibited in 'The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT8) | 21 Nov 2015 – 10 Apr 2016


  • Title: Muted Expression
  • Creator: Tsherin Sherpa
  • Date Created: 2015
  • Location: Nepal
  • Physical Dimensions: 116.5 x 259cm
  • Provenance: Purchased 2015. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
  • Subject Keywords: APT8, Nepal, Tsherin Sherpa
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © The artist
  • External Link: Tsherin Sherpa discusses his work
  • Medium: Synthetic polymer paint, ink and platinum leaf on canvas

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