As a Tibetan born in Lhasa who currently resides in Canada, every time I see pictures and videos of my hometown, I am transported back to my childhood memories. The land of my birth, the street where I grew up, the alleys where I played with my friends, and the people with whom I shared my life - all of this is Tibet to me, my beloved home. I cannot help but want to capture these images and express my love and yearning through my paintings.
While most people associate Tibet with Tibetan Buddhism, there is so much more to our culture and way of life that can be captured. I want to illustrate the scenes of people gathering in tea houses and enjoying each other's company for hours, families going to purchase butter and meat from nomads, and the joyous gatherings of family and friends who dance, sing, and share freshly brewed barley beers on holidays.
Tibetans cherish the art of enjoying every moment, especially during hardships. That is why I have chosen watercolor as my primary medium for illustration. When painting with watercolor, it is difficult to control the ratio between water and paint, resulting in paintings that often turn out differently than originally planned. Watercolor is full of surprises, just like life itself, which doesn't always go as planned. However, we learn to endure, to enjoy, and to expect the unexpected.
In his biography, the late Tashi Tsering-la, a professor at the University of Tibet, wrote, "Tibet to me wasn't just an idea, an abstraction; it was a place - my home. It was the mountains, rivers, the flinty landscapes, and the villages I knew as a child. Somebody else's mountains and villages simply weren't the same. There was no acceptable substitute." His words resonate with me deeply. Tibet is more than just a concept or memory - it is a physical place, a complex society of people, and above all, it is my home. I want to translate all of this into art with my own hands for others to appreciate and enjoy.