The Secret Murals of the Lukhang Temple

Photographs by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Inauguration SUNDAY, JUNE 23 at 5:00 p.m. in Arcidosso

In 1981 Professor Namkhai Norbu, returning to Lhasa after more than 20 years, made the first photographs of what were then considered the most secret images of Tibet, the 18th-century murals of the Lukhang, a small temple located behind the Potala Palace which contains what has become known as the Sistine Chapel of Tibetan Buddhism. An esoteric Wunderkammer, the images of the Lukhang present a panorama of Tibetan culture in the 1700s and an authentic visual guide to enlightenment.

This exhibition has been made possible by the support of the 8th of December Fund and the Ati Evolution Foundation.

The MACO Museum (Museo di Arte e Cultura Orientale) would like to thank the international team of guest curators who have collaborated with the MACO staff, each sharing their personal perspectives, research, and experiences to enrich the exhibition:

  • Jakob Winkler, scholar, and author of many articles related to the Lukhang and its murals, of special note, his chapter, dedicated to the Lukhang in the Murals of Tibet (Taschen, 2018);
  • Michael Farmer, architect, cartographer, and author of An Atlas of the Tibetan Plateau (Brill, 2022);
  • Jamyang Oliphant, scholar, author and the director of the Shang Shung Institute, UK;
  • Luigi Vitiello, medical doctor, scholar and author;
  • Jan Dolensky, scholar and advanced Yantra Yoga instructor;

Our special thanks to Enrica Rispoli, scholar and author, who was so fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time, and accompanied Rinpoche and his family to Lhasa in 1981.

For more information and updates regarding events, scheduled gallery talks, guided tours, publications and travel related to the Lukhang exhibition, please consult The Mirror and visit the websites of the MACO, SSUK and Merigar.

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