The Art of Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel

About the Artist

Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel was born in the Northern Indian province of Himachel Pradesh into a Tibetan family, the son of Neten Chokling Rinpoche and Mayum Tsewang Paldun. Recognized as an incarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, a great scholar and meditation master in 19th century Tibet, he grew up in a monastic environment and received extensive training in all aspects of Buddhist philosophy and practice. In 1989, Mr. Namgyel moved to the United States with his family, and in 1990 he began a five-year tenure as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at the Naropa Institute. During this period, he founded Mangala Shri Bhuti with the vision of furthering the wisdom and practice of the Longchen Nyingtik, Khyentse, Kongtrul and Choling lineages. Mr. Namgyel travels widely throughout the world, teaching and furthering his own education.

Deeply interested in activities that express the natural state of mind to which all meditation aspires, Mr. Namgyel, in his first encounters with Western art, particularly admired the work of Kandinsky and Picasso. Although trained in the traditional Tibetan arts of calligraphy, music and ritual dance, he first began to paint in the mid-1990's under the guidance of the French abstract expressionist Yahne Le Toumelin. Among all the Western painting traditions, abstract expressionism most attracted his interest due to its acceptance of formless technique, which closely mirrors the relaxation of strict discipline found in advanced meditation.

In more recent years, Mr. Namgyel has developed a growing appreciation for the spontaneity and freedom offered by photography. He particularly enjoys street photography, and brings his camera along wherever he goes. His photos capture the spirit of the people he encounters, as well as moments of openness and space that might otherwise pass unnoticed.

In 2006, Mr. Namgyel gave his first public exhibition in Taipei, followed by shows in New York and San Francisco in 2008 and 2009.

We invite you to visit Mr. Namgyel's Instagram feed and his art website where you can browse through his gallery, find more information, and see the artist at work.