Leslie Nguyen Temple

Leslie Nguyen Temple

Leslie’s artwork lies in the study and practice of Tibetan thangka art using both painting and appliqué methods.


Having spent many years away from her native Europe to live and work in Tibet, Hawaii and South East Asia, and previously trained in art therapy  before studying tibetan thangka painting- her silk images express themes ranging from traditional, environmental and more recently abstracts.


Leslie’s interest in appliqué thangkas evolved through her amazing opportunity to participate in creating the Giant thangkas for Tsurphu monastery in Tibet with fellow artist/teacher/husband – Terris Temple – and a talented team of Tibetan sewers (1992-1997). Since then both Terris and Leslie continue to work for H.H. 17th Gyalwa Karmapa on ongoing art projects supporting environmental and cultural programs.


Whilst working on the giant thangkas – over 20 years ago – Leslie was fascinated by the appliqué technique which fuses textiles with painting. She later developed and adapted it to create her own thangkas which she has been doing ever since. Based on prescribed iconography Buddhist deities are first designed and constructed in silks and brocades and later finished with shading and linework.

Leslie’s contemporary images are departures inspired by traditional Tibetan Art using similar appliqué methods.

Her multi-levelled silks appliqué abstracts – echoing traditional forms – are inspired by the impulse to work intuitively with color. Though this method contrasts the prescribed discipline of thangka art, these spontaneous non-conceptual works evolve from the same concern to balance line, form and colour into a vibrant yet subtle aesthetic. These floating fluid transparent images are constructed on one, two- even sometimes three -levels exploring interdependence and stillness in motion.

Leslie has been involved in numerous site-specific commissions for private collections and public spaces worldwide as well as collaborated with conservation groups to design images created both to inspire and educate.

Recent Exhibit:  Trace Foundation, NYC

The first exhibition of Tibetan thangka and appliqué masters
Terris and Leslie Nguyen Temple