Tiffani Gyatso

Tiffani’s art journeys between traditional discipline and exploratory freedom in an ever unfolding inquiry and devotion to art

Tiffani Hollack Gyatso was born in 1981 in São Paulo, Brazil. She grew up surrounded by nature in the countryside in a community which her parents had built. During her teens she lived in a sailing boat, and later she lived a while with the aboriginals in the Australian desert. In 2000, she drove with her family from Germany through Russia to Mongolia – where she encountered thangka painting (Tibetan sacred arts) for the first time and decided right there that she would learn it.

Before she could dedicate herself completely to study it, she returned to Germany where she studied and worked at graphic and web design. In 2003 she finally moved to northern India to Dharamsala and was accepted as the first foreigner at The Norbulingka Institute founded by H.H. the Dalai Lama.  She studied thangka painting there until 2006.

She returned to Brazil together with her Tibetan partner and they had their son at the end of the same year.

By September 2007 she was invited to coordinate the wall murals at the Buddhist temple of Caminho do Meio CEBB in Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil, a center guided by the Brazilian lama and physicist, Lama Padma Samten (www.caminhodomeio.org). The painting project took nearly 5 years to complete.

Parallel to traditional thangka painting, she has done her own contemporary artistic experiments inspired by her experiences around the world seeing different cultures and listening to different faiths.

“Thangka is a discipline that I need to practice when art immersions on my Self have taken me too far of my focus. The two almost opposites ways of making art brings me balance. Thangka is the bread and free expression is like water – though only bread makes it too dry and only water does not feed you – I need both. Discpline and freedom.”

Mid-2012, she exhibited at the Tibet House gallery in New York, a series called “Mystic Nostalgia.”

View a Mystic Nostalgia video in which Tiffani shares her perspectives on East meeting West in Art.

She works today at her studio, Studio Yabyum, in Minas Gerais and teaches all over Brazil, as well as internationally. She lectures on traditional thangka painting and also gives Immersions on Creative art, self expressions. Since 2013 she also takes annually groups of people interested in Buddhist art to India, Nepal and southeast Asia thru Chorten Viagens travels.