Last weekend as part of the Arts in October kickoff, ten Tibetan Buddhist monks began constructing a “sand painting” mandala at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The monks are spending the week creating their work, and then this Saturday, it will be dismantled. If you are interested in witnessing this painstaking act of public creation, word from the Crow is that today is the day to see it. The piece is almost complete, and the monks will be at work between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and then again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A full release with more information about the project is after the jump.
TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONKS RETURN TO CROW COLLECTION OCTOBER 2 – 9 TO PAINSTAKINGLY CONSTRUCT A MAGNIFICENT TANTRIC BUDDHIST MANDALA SAND PAINTING
Millions of grains of colored, crushed marble will be laid into place in this ancient spiritual art form to generate energies for global healing; family activities planned throughout week
WHAT: Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery returned to the Crow Collection of Asian Art for a week-long artist residency to construct a magnificent Tantric Buddhist mandala sand painting. During the week, millions of grains of colored, crushed marble are being painstakingly laid into place in this ancient spiritual art form to generate energies for global healing. This year, 10 monks and one interpreter are constructing the Akshobhya mandala, or The Unshakable Victor, symbolizing a wish for conflict resolution and peace.
As part of the Mystical Arts of Tibet at the Crow Collection, the monks will perform at a special Silk Road Lounge event from 7 – 9 p.m. Thursday (October 7) at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Visitors also can tour the new free exhibition Tibet: The Land Closest to the Sky, Photographs by Marc Riboud.
WHEN: Saturday, October 2 – Saturday, October 9. Tomorrow (Wednesday) from 10 a.m. – noon or 1 – 3 p.m. are ideal times to view the almost-complete mandala sand painting. Dismantling of the mandala will be from 1 – 3 p.m. Saturday (October 9).
NOTE: Because the monks’ schedules vary day to day, please call Carrie Ford (512-663-6798) at the Crow Collection to confirm the best times to attend and to insure that a spokesperson is available.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTED EVENTS
(See detailed schedule at http://www.crowcollection.com/pdf/mysticalArtsTibet_schedule.pdf. Note: Some events require tickets and/or reservations.)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, FROM 7 – 9 P.M.
Silk Road Lounge: Sacred Music Sacred Dance
SPECIAL EVENT (NOTE TIME AND LOCATION: This month, Silk Road Lounge will be from 7 – 9 p.m. at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.)
See a rare special performance by the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery. Seating is limited. Admission is $5 for students, $15 for Friends of the Crow Collection and $20 for the public. Reservations required. Visit crowcollection.org or call 214-979-6435.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, FROM 1 – 3 P.M.
Dismantling of mandala sand painting
In a ceremony representing the impermanence of all that exists, the monks will dismantle the sand mandala. Following the ceremony, the sand will be dispersed at Turtle Creek in Dallas. Admission is $15 for Friends of the Crow Collection and students, and $30 for the public. Limited seating; reservations required. Call 214-979-6435.
WHERE: Crow Collection of Asian Art located at 2010 Flora St., Dallas 75201 (NOTE: This month’s Silk Road Lounge event will be from 7 – 9 p.m. at Booker T. Washington High School located at 2501 Flora St., Dallas 75201).
PARKING: Validated parking for media is available for the Trammell Crow Center Garage (accessible from Harwood or Olive streets). Upon arrival, please check in at the front desk of the museum.
ABOUT MANDALA SAND PAINTINGS: Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants. The lamas begin the work by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform, which requires the remainder of the day. The following days see the laying of the colored sands, which is effected by pouring the sand from traditional metal funnels called chak-pur. Each monk holds a chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its grated surface; the vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid.
Traditionally most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion, as a metaphor of the impermanence of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn. To fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water and deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing.
ABOUT THE CROW COLLECTION
The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. The Crow Collection is a permanent set of galleries dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. LinkAsia, the newly dedicated gallery space at the Crow Collection, presents art works that provide a contemporary global path to understanding Asia through unique perspectives and mediums. The museum offers a serene setting for both quiet reflection and learning, which spans from the ancient to the contemporary. For more information, please go to crowcollection.org or call 214-979-6430.