Tashi delek! Tibetan New Year, Losar, has begun and we welcome the year commonly referred to as The Year of the Pig. I prefer, however, to call it the Year of the Boar; the wild pig, that is free from domestication. Why? Because we need to be brave like the wild boar, ready to take on the challenges of a more chaotic environment in the year ahead and the foreseeable future.
In Tibetan, pig or phakpa can be a pun to mean another phakpa, arhat in Sanskrit. In Buddhism, an arhat is a foe winner or enlightened being who has extinguished the three poisons of passion, aggression and ignorance rooted in one's ego. In more secular terms, from a Chinese perspective, the pig is a symbol of wealth. Given the contrast between the worldly and other worldly perspectives of these two cultures, we, at InnerAsia along with our partner, Pompanoosuc Mills, makers of handcrafted furniture in Vermont, decided to celebrate the Tibetan New Year with an exhibition of a unique collection of antique Hand Painted Treasure Chests and Furniture from Tibet.
One can imagine that just surviving the long and circuitous route each of these pieces of furniture took traveling from Tibet, across the Himalayas to the hills of Vermont, was an amazing feat. If these chests and pieces of furniture could talk, we would undoubtedly hear many tales of narrow escape from broken legs and scratched faces. But fortunately, they survived the long journey.
In viewing this collection, you will see how an ancient civilization situated high above the clouds with a scarcity of rich forest land and a limited variety of dense timber was able to draw upon creative vision, artistic skill, brilliant sense of color and spiritual aspiration to create beautiful treasure chests and stunning pieces of furniture. These beautiful examples of 18th - 20th century Tibetan material culture provide a legacy of Tibet’s artistic heritage for posterity.
The Losar opening reception of the Exhibition of Hand Painted Treasure Chests and Furniture of Tibet will take place in March. Check out this blog site for more information and photos. Hope you can join us and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous start to The Year of The Boar.
February 3, 2019
It’s Losar…New Year
New Year’s Offerings