Dynamic Space of the Elements – Interview with Migmar Tsering


Art show presented by the Dynamic Space of the Elements for the 10th Anniversary of Dzamling Gar

Dec.18, 2023

The Mirror: Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you give us a short introduction of how Dynamic Space of the Elements began, how Chogyal Namkhai Norbu was involved and how you manifested Rinpoche`s wish.

Migmar: In 2015, 2016 Rinpoche wanted to do something to work with young people. In that way he said we need to do something to create work for young people. If we create these kinds of jobs, then the young people can live near the Community and in that way we have continuation. 

Then Rinpoche sent me to China to make this association called Ati Yoga Association. So we made this association there and we tried to do some business with wine, then we created this art exchange with Oriental artists and European artists; a cultural exchange. 

Then when I came back from China Rinpoche gave me some money to continue this work. With this Chinese association we did some exchange with wine and culture. Then I gave back this money immediately and Rinpoche said that I should keep the money to use to develop this project, so then we had enough money to go ahead.

From this point we did this work with young people and founded this art project called The Dynamic Space of the Elements. https://dynamicelements.org/?p=109&lang=en.  At that time we worked with many artists doing ceramics, painting, and many different artistic modalities. 

I asked Rinpoche to choose one name for the group and he said he would give this responsibility to Rosa Namkhai and Rosa chose this name. So we continue to use this name for this cultural association and this we developed slowly, slowly and more and more.

First we give the young people some possibility to come to Merigar, then we found some place where they could work together and we tried to find some work for them. We worked on illustrating books, restoring the Gonpa, working on astrology painting, so these kinds of jobs and they joined with us and slowly this Dynamic Space of the Elements developed. 

TM: Where did these young people come from? From Amiata, or Italy, or China? 

MT: Some came from the young generation near Merigar, some came from art schools and universities, Some from the art university in Rome called Belle Arte. They understood we are doing this kind of organization and then they gradually joined with us. Then they learned our Community practices and followed the Community, and the social aspect of the Community. So when they did not have examinations they came to Merigar to help.

TM: Did they also get interested in the Teachings?

MT: Yes now they know how to do Ganapuja, they do everything, they are listening to lots of Rinpoche`s videos, audios and now they are studying. 

TM: Do the paintings in this show come from this group of students?

MT: Yes these paintings come from this group of students. Also there are lots of artists not only coming from China, they come from Russia, America, Holland; many artists joined with us to work with us. So you see these individual art works do not have a single name because we try to work together, as a team. That is our idea is to learn how to work together and collaborate. 

Some of the pieces we have a precise idea of what we need, like for example for illustrations for books, etc and some we have no idea and then the artists can do as they like.

TM: How did the idea for this show in Dzamling Gar come about?

MT: Last year when we were restoring the Gonpa, at that time Titi was there and she talked about the 10 year anniversary of Dzamling Gar and I said if she wanted I could make an exhibition for this event. She said ok and thank you and we did.

TM: You already explained somewhat, but some people were wondering why the paintings do not have the name of the artist.

MT: Yes we all work together for the Dynamic Space and we do not use the individual`s name and everyone is working for the Dynamic Space and also for the Dzogchen Community. This is our aim.

TM: Some of this artwork has been made for a book that should be coming out soon. Can you tell us about that?

MT: This is a book that is based on the many stories Rinpoche would tell us over the years. These were stories to help us understand the teachings more easily. These stories were collected by Oliver Leick and he asked if we could do some illustrations and designs, so we did all these designs for the book; different artists and different stories. This book should be ready next year.

TM: Have you done other shows in different places?

MT: Yes we have done exhibitions in Arcidosso and Rome, different themes with different artwork. If we have the possibility we want to bring these shows everywhere to give the message that we work together, and how we learn to work together.

We have very unique art using the elements that you cannot find anywhere. Many young artists have lots of ideas, we do so many artworks, we have destroyed many art pieces because we not satisfied and finally we know how we should do then this art is arising.

We have art based on how the elements move and if you just look at the art, traditional art, you look at the explanation about the art piece and then you know about the elements and how the elements work. 

Then we are doing this new theme, how people are dying and how they are growing in the womb, this is a new way to communicate about life and death. We have 10 paintings already on this topic and we still have more to do and then we need to communicate about the colors and how it should be, this is something like new art. 

TM: Are you using some actual substances or minerals that are related to elements?

MT: Sometimes we use minerals; green represents energy of the wind, white the energy of water,  blue, space, yellow, earth, red for fire; so when we use these kinds of minerals it makes the elements more alive and even though using minerals is a little difficult and expensive, slowly we can do.

TM: What are some of your upcoming programs or books etc?

MT: Next is coming the second part of the astrology book, and Sa Che, has 2 books, the first one is more general and how things should be and the second book is more detailed and how you should do practice, etc. Another book is the Potentiality of the Elements and there are 4 books. The first book is general, the next one is the different chakras with the elements, then how the elements evolve, etc. 

TM: Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

MT: Next year we have quite a full program, but since we have been here  in Dzamling Gar the Mayor of Arcidosso asked us to do an exhibition like this in Arcidosso and other towns in Amiata. So we are thinking what to do and to see if we have time or not. We have many works to finish for next year. Also we will have more cultural exchange with China. 

TM: Is there anything else to share?

MT: Yes I would like to talk about the 108 stupas of Changchub Dorje, Rinpoche asked me to make these based on the indications left by Changchub Dorje. At that time Rinpoche gave me the drawings of 56 stupas. These stupas are not very tall, like 54 centimeters, and the form of each stupa is different. Some are so, so complicated. Also each stupa is so expensive to make. You cannot find any stupa like this in this world. They are a little different and quite difficult and expensive. So now I made 8 stupas and we will send them all over the world, Community places and not only Gars and Lings, but also where there are practitioners. This was Rinpoche`s idea. You can even have them at home since there are not so big and each one is consecrated with different mantras and different objects. When we finish them we will send them everywhere where Rinpoche traveled. Stupas have a lot of benefit because they harmonize the elements. So we are doing this project and if some people want to help us by donating, we are very thankful for this help. This is my commitment to Rinpoche. Before I die I will finish at least these 56 stupas. The indications for these stupas are in Changchub Dorje`s terms texts. Rinpoche said these are the stupas we need to focus on now. Once we start producing the stupas we will post the photos on our website, we are working on a new website, and there will be a place where people can donate. 

TM: Thank you so much Migmar for your time and your dedication to the Dzogchen Community.

Link for donating to the 108 Stupa Project: https://108-stupa.dynamicelements.org

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