The Mural Painters of Nepal (2015)
People seldom wonder how those colourful mural paintings in the Buddhist monasteries are created. Visitors admire the finished artwork whenever they step into shrine halls. However, they hardly ever ask questions like: “Are those actually printed wallpapers?” or “Are those hand painted murals from scratch?”
I would like to share the behind-the-scenes of this authentic Himalayan Buddhist practice. I hope that this story will take you one step closer to understand this unique tradition in Nepal.
Last April, I was fortunate to get the permission from Dhundup Sherpa, an experienced mural artist to visit and see his latest ongoing project. I was then welcomed by Lama Karma when I arrived in Lumbini a week later.
According to Dhundrup and Lama Karma, they need a least 5 years to completely paint a whole shrine hall. That's a pretty long duration for a single project. They work in a group consists of six or seven trained painters. They work weekly from Monday to Friday.
I spent a few days with the group and observed their daily routine. These are not your typical brush and paper painters, in fact, their canvases are the walls and the ceilings!
Please proceed to the next page to see the photos.