Kings Dominion Announces Opening Date and Special Events Schedule for 2022

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) presents Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits, the first solo exhibition by the contemporary Tibetan-American artist of Nepalese origin. On view from February 19 to October 16, 2022, Spirits is a highly focused mid-career retrospective of Tsherin Sherpa’s captivating and sublime paintings and sculptures.

“Visitors to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts may recall seeing Tsherin Sherpa’s paintings in the museum’s 2019 exhibit. Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey to Enlightenmentsaid Alex Nyerges, Director and CEO of VMFA. “We are thrilled to present an exhibition of work by this world-renowned artist because the themes he explores – including the search for individual and collective identity in a rapidly changing world – are universally relatable and compelling.”

Sherpa was born in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1968 and immigrated to the United States 30 years later. From an early age, he studied Tibetan thangka painting with his father Master Urgen Dorje. He eventually moved away from this traditional form of painting and began creating original works that draw on both Tibetan Buddhist iconography and popular culture imagery, exploring the interplay of the sacred and secular and shaping the artist’s own cross-cultural experiences.

Spirits is a captivating exhibition that will intrigue those interested in contemporary world art, traditional Asian art, Tibet and Buddhism,” said exhibition organizer Dr John Henry Rice, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter, Curator of South Asia and Islam. Art. “Not only are the 36 works by Sherpa in the exhibition visually compelling, each one is charged with meaning. Part autobiography, part social commentary, they contain the artist’s reflection on the struggles faced by Tibetans and other displaced people while inviting viewers to examine their own experiences of loss and reappropriation.

Presented in the form of a story, the exhibition retraces the journey of Sherpa Spirits, a series conceived shortly after his abandonment of traditional painting and which has continued to evolve throughout his career. “The story told by the half-human, half-Tibetan subjects of these works is one of cultural loss, protracted struggle, eventual victory, wisdom gained and rediscovered identity” , said Dr. Michael Taylor, chief curator and deputy director of the VMFA. Arts and education. “I believe that visitors to the exhibition will be captivated, moved and inspired by these works of art.”

The painting Spirits (Transformation) depicts two Spirits at this precise moment of reclaiming their identities. Surrounded by butterflies symbolizing transformation, they discover beneath the dripping pigmentation of their bodies an inner power visualized as energetically swirling colors.

With Skippers (up to the knees) – Sherpa’s first work to fully translate his painting into three dimensions – these powerful polychrome forms inhabit the body of a cheeky gum-blowing spirit clad only in golden underpants.

The sculptural installation wishing tree offers the public a unique participatory experience. The seven-layered offering mandala, crafted from copper and adorned with spiritual faces, was originally created to hold the wishes of survivors of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015. Now it invites visitors to write their own wishes on pieces of paper that will be inserted into the room.

The end of Spirits is a new work — Sherpa’s largest painting to date — created expressly for the exhibition. In it, Sherpa reflects on the long journey he and his spirits have traveled.

The prolific of the artist Spirits The entire body of work will be explored through a candid conversation between Sherpa and Dr. Rice on February 17, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Leslie Cheek Theater. For more information on Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits and programs related to the exhibition, visit

Ticket information

Exhibition tickets Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits are now on sale: $10 for adults and $8 for seniors 65+, youth 7-17 and university students with ID. The exhibit is free to VMFA members, children 6 and under, active duty military and their immediate families.

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