mixed media: Tibetan Scriptures, acrylic on canvas
The precious elephant is one of the seven possession of the “ideal universal ruler” whose meaning lies in having one of the most precious human qualities: a disciplined mind.
On the embracing peach-blossom background of the canvas, Tashi Norbu pays tribute to the Hindu culture, where Buddhism originated, by narrating the Buddhist story of the wild Black Elephant. As symbol of the wild mind, at first it is represented together with the monkey, symbol of the wandering mind. Nevertheless, with the help of the light blue laces of the Wisdom, all encompassing, and thanks to the discipline given by monks, masters and Scriptures, it makes pure by the flames of sacred inspiration and it wins the Sky, after having annihilated the poisons of ignorance, desire and anger.
In the painting the Sky is personified by three fragments of the Scriptures, arranged in the form of three horizontal lines, the icon of the Hindu Lord Shiva. These three signs correspond even to the ancient Chinese trigram called Chenn, meaning precisely the limitless creation of the Sky.
Shiva, the great Ascetic and Yogi of the Hindu Pantheon, is Lord Ganesh’s father, the Elephant God of Wisdom. The former is the destroyer of the illusion of ego and that of the world as well. In so doing, he allows the spiritual rebirth of the initiate.
At the center of the canvas a serpentine waterway is followed by the Elephant, in order to purify its emotions. The animal appears to be black, starting from the bottom of the painting and, as getting the top, it becomes white with the help of the community of monks, whose motion is interlaced with bright flares of a flame towards the sky. The Elephant will become the vehicle of Bodhisattvas and at last it will carry in glory Akshobhya, the unshakable blue Buddha.
Tashi Norbu is an independent -Tibetan born- contemporary artist with the Belgian citizenship and who lives and works in The Netherlands. He is educated as a traditional Tibetan thangka painter at the offices of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. He completed his art studies in the western world at the Saint Lucas Academy of Visual Arts in Ghent, Belgium.
In the mean time, Tashi Norbu, has developed into an allround and versatile contemporary artist. His art, however, still shows the fundamentals/basics of his background - Tibet and Buddhism - combined with strong influences from western art forms, western ideas and modern time's icons.