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Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

A Himalayan Monk’s Mask for Royal Rituals

The masked dances of Himalayan Buddhist monks are fascinating and since 2011, I’ve watched them on four different occasions in various monasteries (Kalimpong, Matho, Stok, Jokhang-Leh ).   The Chamms … Continue reading

July 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Life of an Old Thangka

Thangkas that were once in active use for worship hung in high places inside monasteries. They are exposed to butter-lamp vapors over decades.The inside of a monastery is filled with … Continue reading

June 26, 2019 · Leave a comment

Art, Astrology & Zodiac Animals

Adapted from my talk on the subject Tibetan astrology borrows from Hindu constructs as well as Chinese constructs. Through artworks, let us explore the Chinese astrological model with its 12 … Continue reading

April 11, 2019 · 2 Comments

Fierce Deities!

A character that is not pleasant or all goody-goody has an appeal that is perhaps stronger! The glimpse of something fiesty, something temperamental, something strong with overtones of bold confidence … Continue reading

July 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Grace of a Burmese Fan

Could it be said that Art reflects the character of the people? This is most certainly true in the case of Burmese Art! The immense grace in the flowing lines … Continue reading

June 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Breathtaking Monastery Art

First, the altitude in the Himalayas makes me breathless and then the paintings in the monasteries take my breath away! Each monastery has so much to offer the vision that … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wearing Art – Antique Himalayan Ceremonial Silver Belt

When everything the eye sees is artistic and pleasing, where art is an intrinsic part of every object, there must be undercurrents of joy constantly hitting the people…  Maybe THAT … Continue reading

May 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 4

The Yarma Gombo A set of natural rock formations revered and venerated by Buddhists as the appearance resembles the face of Buddha and other dieties. I would not have known … Continue reading

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 3

Seen just outside Mulbeg – An engraving on a mountain face that may have been the starting point of a sculpture.  May 2018

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 2

The Mulbeg Chamba Mulbeg is a small Buddhist village in Kargil that I’d first heard of while studying Perak headdress types.  Never thought U’d visit it someday to see the … Continue reading

May 14, 2018 · 1 Comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 1

Huge Ancient Buddhist Sculptures in the Himalayas

May 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ancient Cave Paintings in Sasphol

13th Century Sasphol Caves, Ladakh Went up a mountain to see the magnificent Buddhist cave paintings. Worth every huff and puff. The big achievement was the small journey out of … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Phyang Monastery

Sat still within the ancient halls with only a young monk in attendance. Time passed unmarked by minutes and seconds. What do these matter when the walls have seen centuries!  … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Inspirational People from the Himalayas

When people push themselves beyond the limits of normal human capability, it is always admirable. A few years ago I’d read about the kora or parikrama that Tibetans performed as … Continue reading

April 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

The Irony of my tiny Astrological Thangka Collection

It is ironical and even absurd that my journey in collecting Tibetan material began from being impressed by their ideology of renunciation of material wealth! The life seen in Tibet … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

What lies within? Copper Manuscript

Found in Odisha, it is said to be a Buddhist Mahayana mansucript in Pali script hand-handhammered into copper plates. Imagine the trouble that went into creating this …. Similar examples … Continue reading

October 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Tales the Phra Malai Thai Manuscripts tell!

It will be years before I will be able to understand all the stories contained in the few Phra Malai manuscripts that I’ve seen! Some are stories from the life … Continue reading

September 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Book Recommendation

A good introductory book to enigmatic Mustang.

July 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Kammavaca Art – Buddhist Manuscripts from Myanmar

Exploring the art in Ancient Buddhist manuscripts

June 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 8 – Tibetan Calendar

The Tibetan calendar begins at Losar and has either 12 or 13 months each beginning and ending with the new moon. Every two or three years a 13th month is … Continue reading

May 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 5 – Thai Calendar

In Thailand, as in most of Asia, the lunar calendar contains twelve or thirteen months in a year, with 15 waxing moon and 14 or 15 waning moon days in … Continue reading

May 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix

Majestic head lama performing Losar ceremonies at a monastery in Sikkim – where Life and Art are inextricably braided into one!!      

May 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

Antique Tantric Phurba Carving – Available for Sale

Fourteen little pieces strung together in a necklace. Not an ordinary necklace but one that was used in rituals by tantric priests. Each is a Phurba made of Yak bone … Continue reading

January 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Diversity in Folk Art – Bone Carvings

Exploring one more medium of folk art – Bones!

August 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Antique Ayuthaya Paintings – Available for Sale

One more style of painting – one more delectable recipe that makes the senses dance int his ongoing visual feast – Ayutthaya paintings from Thailand. The subject matter relates to … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Daily Art Fix – The Heavy Crown of Responsibility

A large yet simple copper crown or Mukut worn by learned Buddhist priests known as Vajracharyas or “Master of the Thunderbolt” during religious ceremonies. The weight of this crown is … Continue reading

May 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Picking a Bone …

Picking a bone …. Not exactly any bone. But a Kapala bone. A bone from the skull of a deceased Buddhist Lamaji. Under the assumption that his wisdom and powers … Continue reading

March 12, 2016 · 1 Comment

Ancient Mongolian Buddhist Script for Musical Sutras

A note from 2012 – reposted We have all heard of Do Re Mi as the format for musical notation. It is a language in which we express music. Another … Continue reading

June 11, 2015

The Rich Bow to the Poor – Images of Myanmar

The rich bow to the poor as they donate money to the monks in Myanmar. There is no attitude of arrogance or of self-indulgent generosity. They rich bow to the … Continue reading

March 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Golden Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon

No words … just photos of a place offering shade to the body & spirit in the heat of Myanmar. The grandeur of the architecture matches the depth of devotion … Continue reading

February 5, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Magnificent 11th Century Lamayuru Monastery – A photoessay

The Monastery    Student Monks doing their laundry.   And finally an invitation to  lunch of Rajam & Rice with the student monks! Food for the Soul, Food for the … Continue reading

October 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

Turquoise Art – The Blue Veil of Ladakh

An unusual Museum Quality Perak headdress from the Purang / Burang region. Authentic heirloom peraks are extreme,y rare now and among Peraks Purang Peraks are the rarest to find. The … Continue reading

September 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

Large Textile Art Installations from the Buddhist World

Just a few photos from my past travels. Tashiding Sikkim More pro images may be viewed on WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

August 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Buddhist Stupa Art from Sikkim India

Just a few mini photo-articles while I travel Sikkim, India More pro images on WOVENSOULS.com jm Aug 2013

August 27, 2013 · 1 Comment

Behind Bars – Imprisoning the Mind

A life of austerity, a life of self-imposed restrictions. Leading to a life of contentment. Of enlightenment. Of peace. jm Aug 2013

August 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Arresting Architecture of Chi Lin Nunnery, Kowloon

The photos below suffice to show the serenity reflecting the stillness and peace of mind of its inhabitants. The art in its architecture is complemented by the craft and the … Continue reading

August 7, 2013 · 4 Comments

Architectural Art – ChiangMai Outskirts

No words. Just pictures. Of impressive architecture. From the present & from the past.  Temples that are alive with deities & worshippers and a 17th century city in ruins. ChiangMai … Continue reading

May 28, 2013 · 3 Comments

In the Presence of the Past – Ancient Caves of Odisha

Just outside Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India monks carved out a cave complex from the stone mountain and made it their home. Today, I am here, in the same point in space … Continue reading

March 26, 2013 · 4 Comments

Return to Ladakh

There is a ‘magnetic’ mountain on the road between Leh and Alchi. The magnetism is strong enough to pull parked cars upwards. It is probably this magnetism that took me … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Magnificent Stone Artefacts of the Odisha State Museum

Orissa has been the seat of rich ancient civilizations and some of the archaeological finds have been displayed at the State Museum, Bhubaneshwar. Museums in the cities of India are … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Miniature Thangkas from Mongolia

Devotional Art – art that arises out of worship and devotion – produces some of the most spectacular works the world has seen.  Sufi music is an example and so … Continue reading

January 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Recent additions to the antique jewelry collection

Exquisite heirloom pieces just added! 1. Antique turquoise necklace with large Ghau (with compartment) 2. Antique heirloom Naga necklace with shell, bone and glass beads 3. Antique Tuareg (African Sahara) … Continue reading

December 27, 2012

The Komusa Wandering Monks & their Shakuhachi flutes

Arm Chair Travel  The Distance between point A and point B may be reduced by either one of them moving to the other. Since it is not possible to move … Continue reading

February 24, 2012

Ladakh Diaries

“LADAKH – THE HERMIT KINGDOM”  PROVIDES AN INTRODUCTION TO LADAKH AND IS A PREFACE TO A SERIES OF SUBJECT SPECIFIC ARTICLES ON LADAKH. In the olden days, in the Hindu … Continue reading

November 11, 2011 · 1 Comment

The Chamms Masked Dances by the Monks of Chemrey Monastery – Ladakh

Lamas of the ancient Chemrey monastery performing the Masked dances in Leh in which they enact religious tales with a moral. The stunning colors of the flowing robes combined with … Continue reading

October 23, 2011 · Leave a comment

Ancient Murals of Alchi Monastery – an art-collector’s delight

Alchi is a sleepy and simple unglorified village about 70 km to the West of Leh. Nothing in its approach route or in the buildings and structures of the village … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

Sikkim Diaries

‘To live many lifetimes within a lifetime…”. Its time for another lifetime! My trip to Sikkim in March 2011, was planned during the week of Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations. … Continue reading

March 17, 2011

Chanting ceremony at Kagyud Monastery, Lingdum, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On the first visit, 2 days prior to Losar, … Continue reading

March 17, 2011 · 1 Comment

Breathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries

The images need no supporting words… Just a small preface …all images were taken inside a large hall lit only by a few butter lamps. I have not used a … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Buddhist Ritual Objects

My awareness of Buddhist rituals and practices is limited to my observations. Someday I hope I will have the opportunity to seek out the stories and the philosophies behind these … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Sikkimese Monastery Architecture

The initial images display exteriors of monasteries while the last dozen display the interiors. Back to Sikkim Diaries jm March 2011

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Wood Art in Sikkim Monasteries – Windows, Doors and Pillars

The design of the Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim is heavily influenced by Tibetan designs and bears a close similarity to the visuals seen on the other side of the Himalayas. … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Little Lamas, Sikkim

A collage of images of cute little baby lamas in their regal robes….offering a glimpse into their daily lives. Their impishly twinkling smiles, the ease with which they carry their … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Buddhist Yak Butter Art of Sikkim

I usually travel ‘blind’ – without detailed research. So I do not have a clear idea of what to expect. As a result, the experiences I go through along the … Continue reading

March 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

Dancing with novice-nuns at Phendzong Nunnery, Sikkim

Entrance to Phendzong Nunnery I had had the opportunity to have several conversations with a senior monk at the Zurmang Kagyud Monastery.  I asked and he answered. For years I … Continue reading

March 5, 2011 · Leave a comment

Procession at the Enchey Monastery, Sikkim

The head Lama at Enchey, a quiet handsome and dignified gentleman who rarely speaks to visitors, honored me with a detailed conversation about his life* and about the monastery. He … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

Losar Celebrations – Bonfire at Kagyud Monastery, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On my second visit,  the day just before Losar, … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

Panaji to Sindhudurg Sea Fort and back

If you are considering going to Sindhudurg Sea Fort, you’d look at the map, find Sindhudurg on it and then head for it….but that would be a mistake! If you … Continue reading

October 24, 2010

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