Novem & Sudarshan 2019
How the Exhibition Came to Be
Hello everyone! I’m Novem, and I am honoured and excited to announce that from September 4th to 19th 2021, I will organise the first solo thangka exhibition in Hong Kong of my beloved teacher, Newar Thangka master Sudarshan Suwal.
In April this year, I was supposed to go back to Nepal to continue my studies in Buddhism and Thangka art, but in the week I was about to leave, a severe pandemic broke out in India, and concurrently its spread in Nepal also deteriorated rapidly. There continue to still be about 2,000 new cases in Nepal every day up to now, so not being able to return to Nepal not only forced me to suspend my personal training, but what makes me more anxious is that it has made things worse for the Nepalese people who, were already living in hardship even before this.
Most of the Nepalese people are cheerful and enthusiastic, and they are also extremely determined and tenacious, including my teacher Sudarshan. Therefore, when I couldn't go back to Nepal, I talked to him on the phone and told him that I plan to teach painting in Hong Kong. I hoped that part of the income from this could help Nepal fight the pandemic. He said that he also hopes he can donate from the proceeds to help other fellow Nepalese.
There have been basically no tourists in Nepal in the past two years due to the coronavirus. Sudashan’s teaching and thangka sales have almost ceased completely. He and his family are now experiencing such a difficult time, but he has never once complained, and as long as he has the opportunity, he still hopes to be able to share his skills and art with others.
I am in Hong Kong and I can’t afford to buy my teacher’s precious thangkas, so I wondered what I could do as a student. I suggested to Sudarshan that he send me several thangkas. I have no knowledge of the Hong Kong thangka market, and I am not sure that I can sell them, but if we don't try, there is no chance at all to help. At least I was able to hire a professional photography team in Hong Kong to take high quality photos for thangkas and produce Fine Art Prints.
Despite my proposal being unconventional, Sudharshan trusted my instinct and sent over 15 Thangkas from Nepal. You must understand that each one of these takes months to years to finish. His unconditional trust in me reminded me to do my best to give more people the opportunity to enjoy these precious works of art.
In just a few months, I had a lot of support from many people that gave me encouragement and unbiased opinions. This gave me the opportunity to teach painting in different venues, and at the same time, through the opportunity of teaching painting, also share an awareness of Nepalese thangka art.
With the great help of the "Buddhist Philosophy Bookshop”, I was finally able to hold a solo exhibition for Sudashan. The pandemic has profoundly affected all beings around the world regardless of whether they are wealthy or poor. In this difficult period, many people are still doing their best to help others in different ways. impermanence not only means suffering, it can be full of surprises, and it could be an opportunity for self-growth, resilience of spirit and an opportunity for generosity. Although we cannot travel to Nepal now due to everything being in a state of constant change, we have the opportunity now in Hong Kong to learn about the Nepal Newar thangka art lineage that is over a thousand years old.
There will be explanatory notes accompanying each of the thangkas on exhibition. These have been written by me only to help others understand the background of the paintings. Please forgive me if there are any errors - I’m a beginner in Buddhism and in thangka studies, so the responsibility for them if there are any, is entirely mine.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing many of you at the exhibition!
Pema Novem Yip
各位吉祥！我是Novem ，我以緊張又興奮的心情向大家榮幸地宣傳，將於2012年9月4日至19日將為我敬愛的老師－尼泊爾唐卡大師Sudarshan Swual，在香港協辦他首個在香港的唐卡個人畫展！
原本於今年4月我已回到尼泊爾繼續修學佛法及學習唐卡藝術，但就在我要出發的那周，印度爆發嚴重疫情，連帶尼泊爾疫情亦急速惡化，直至現在尼泊爾每天仍約有2000宗新病例。回不了尼泊爾除了個人學習計劃停擺，讓我心情更沉重焦急的是，這肯定令原本已生活艱苦的尼泊爾人民雪上加霜。尼泊爾人民大部份性格開朗熱誠，亦極堅毅頑強，包括我的老師Sudarshan。回不了尼泊爾我便跟他通電話，告知他我將打算在香港教畫，希望的部份收入能幫助尼泊爾抗疫，他說他也很希望自己有能力捐助。尼泊爾這兩年因疫情基本上沒有遊客，Sudashan無論在教學及唐卡銷售都近乎停擺，他及他的家人現正經歷這種艱難時刻，但他從沒抱怨，而只要有機會他仍希望能與人分享。我身在香港也沒能力買下老師珍貴的唐卡，作為學生的我能做什麼？我向Sudarshan提議請他寄數張唐卡給我，我對香港唐卡市場毫無認知，完全沒把握能賣出，但假如我們不嘗試機會則是零。至少我能在香港請專業攝影團隊為唐卡拍攝照片，並能制作高質量Art Fine Printing。