About the Artist“As a painter, I feel a personal connection to the work, and of course, paint for my own enjoyment and because painting helps me with my path. In that sense I enjoy living a ‘dual’ life – as a practitioner and an artist – dual, meaning that I derive great satisfaction from being a practitioner and having a form of artistic expression. My aim is for this to inspire and benefit others to have a dual life as well, to see the two, being an artist and being a practitioner, as inseparable.”Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, who paints under the name Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel, is deeply interested in activities that express the natural state of mind for which all meditation aims. Rinpoche admired the work of Kandinsky and Picasso in his first encounters with Western art. Trained in the traditional Tibetan arts of calligraphy, music and ritual dance, he began painting in the mid-1990’s under the guidance of the French abstract expressionist painter Yahne Le Toumelin.Out of all the Western traditions, abstract expressionism caught his attention due to its acceptance of formless technique, which closely mirrors the relaxation of strict discipline found in advanced meditation.“Like the mind, creativity is a clear mirror that reflects all things. It is not programed or un-programed. It is free of a transfixed or static response.”In more recent years, Rinpoche has developed a growing appreciation for the spontaneity and freedom offered by photography. He particularly enjoys street photography, and brings his camera along wherever he goes. His photos capture the spirit of the people he encounters, as well as moments of openness and space that might otherwise pass unnoticed.In 2005, Rinpoche gave his first public exhibition in Taipei, and has since that time given shows nearly every year in New York, San Francisco, or Colorado.Visit Rinpoche’s art website to browse through collections of his work, read teachings on creativity, and see Rinpoche at work.