The tradition applied by Ladakhi statue sculpturing master Chhemet Rigzin
In Ladakh there are five well-known statue sculptors at present. We are mainly interested in the most famous among them: Nawang Tsering from Leh. We visited every monastery in which his work can bee seen. During these visits it was most joyful to have a closer look at the pieces of his work and to meditate in front of them. His 7 metre high Maitreya statue in Tikse Monastery has become a famous landmark of Ladakh. Having located his address, we visited him and came to know that his son, Chhemet Rigzin, was a statue sculptor himself who spoke English. We invited Chhemet to come to Braunschweig in order to build a statue deploying his technique. Chhemet was born in 1972 as the son of statue sculptor Nawang Tsering, who is well known beyond Ladakh´s borders. His family is Drugpa Kagyu. Already during his school years, Chhemet was eager to draw and work in his father´s workshop. He attended the statue sculpturing class at the Institute for Buddhist Studies in Choglamsar, Leh/Ladakh. Back then, his father was the teacher of the sculpturing class. After the six-year-long training, Chhemet graduated being the best of his class. The tradition in building statues taught to him is rooted in Tibet. During his years of education, Chhemet had already modelled in his father´s workshop. Today, Chhemet is married and has five children. He is working on orders from monasteries in various regions as well as from private persons at home and abroad. When we met Chhemet in 2009, he had already fancied to go to Europe or to the United States of America in order to work as a statue sculptor.
Nawang Tsering working in Leh, Ladakh
Chhemet Rigzin painting the Statue