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There is a miracle that is found in a great painting. There is also a miracle in the life of Tangkha painter, Mr. Samten Dakpa. Born in the nomadic region of Eastern Tibet known as Khampa, he was the seventh child of nine children. There was no money to send young Samdak (as he is known) to school so he herded goats, sheep and yak all day. As a young boy waiting for the herd to finish grazing, he began teaching himself to draw in the snow, dirt, mud or anywhere he could leave a trace.  By the time he was discovered creating ice sculptures and unique land art in the frozen lakes, he was only a teen-ager.

Monks in the monastery wondered where he learned his high level of skill in Tangkha painting. Achieving such craftsmanship without pencils, paint or paper convinced them that he was a reincarnation of a great master.

At an early age he won regional competitions and was competing for commissions with masters twice his age.  His journey out of Tibet into India, then to New York City, is a miracle that astounds people almost as much as the beautiful paintings, sculptures and architectural designs Samdak has created.

He currently endeavors to give that blessing back to the children of the region through the building of a community center through the Tibetan Bridge Foundation. As Executive Director, he hopes to bring a new level of understanding and awareness to the region and to the world regarding Tibetan education.

 

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