Mystical Thangkas at the Pyramids

Story By: David Lai

2009年5月11日 星期一 上午6:41 评论关闭

Kechara House has done it again! Instead of being part of another larger exhibition, we were THE exhibition! Thanks to Mr. Ngeow, the vice-president of KH, and his brother, Mr. Ngeow Voon Yean, we were able to hold the thangka exhibition at Sunway Pyramid. Planning for such an event was no small task, just ask Liaison Henry or Liaison Ruby. At the last possible moment before the event, Henry and Ruby were whisked away on a very important mission, leaving it in the hands of Anna, the marketing personnel who came under the supervision of Liaison Wan.

Setting up the exhibition was a monumental task that involved all the outlets with a week ahead in planning and packing. Myself, the nutty writer of KNN, was also part of the wrapping and delivery team. It was basically a sweaty and exhausting experience that became fun with the many volunteers who came to lend a helping hand. The likes of Keng San, Keng Hoi, Eddie, Chin li, Sophie, Kennie and many more who worked hard through the night to mount and hang the thangkas and set up the various displays.

The extended days were just a bit slower despite being weekdays. Kunga already began to have his thangka painting classes in the evenings. As Wednesday was a public holiday, crowds thronged the mall seeking shelter from the searing heat. Hence sales and crowd were edging towards hitting the new target of another RM50k. Everybody did their best to promote, promote, and promote! Even sales person ‘wannabe’ like Joey Wong from KIT (Kechara IT) battled sickness and lethargy and still managed to sell a thangka to a customer who took a long time to make up her mind. Even a customer who came from afar and knew us through our websites came to place an order for three applique thangkas via Liaison Susan Lim. Sales by the late evening already breached the RM90k threshold.

Towards the evening when the crowds have already largely dispersed, Beng Kooi, on behalf of Rinpoche, offered congratulatory khatas to Ruby, Henry and Wan for the success of the exhibition. Next she offered khatas to James and Joy for Saraswati’s involvement to make this a successful event. Then she announced the winners of special gifts from Rinpoche and they were the sales superstar Chia of DMT, Wan of KP and yours truly from KMT. Each of the winners received a specially brocaded guru tree thangka that wowed everybody. Thus the exhibition ended with such a resounding success despite some initial small setbacks. What was apparent throughout the exhibition was the unusual cohesion of our volunteers and staff from various departments of the outlets, Saraswati and KMP that had the sole intention to bring spirituality to everybody.

The highlight of the exhibition was Kunga, our Tibetan artist, who was in the midst of painting a Dzambala thangka to many curious onlookers. Our Nepalese tailor, Raj Kumar, was also another star attraction there as he sewed up brocades for the thangkas. The other Sunday came very quickly when all of us were having fun. However during the weekend, the thangka sales was brisk as we managed to sell a number of thangkas and hit our target of RM50k. Due to the space availability, the generosity of the Mall management and the success of meeting the sales target, the exhibition was extended till Wednesday.

The first day of the exhibition began with the arrival of a standing bouquet of flowers from the ladrang of our Lama. So everybody was in high spirits knowing our Lama is happy and supportive of our hard work. Every day, Rinpoche, through the ladrang staff, would send drinks, snacks and food for the volunteers. Encouraging smses came through our phones promising a very special gift from Rinpoche for those who sold three thangkas throughout the exhibition. In order to safeguard the exhibition at night, the valiant Santos, Kunga, Rajendra and Mitra slept over at the exhibition.

By morning, the thangkas were ready to bless the crowd and woo some prospective customers. On one end was a round stage with exquisite statues followed by the large thangka displays, and then came the Saraswati Arts Department tables for statue and tsa-tsa painting plus a table for thangka brocade sewing. At the tail end of the exhibition were tables upon tables of outlet items, large paintings and wooden Balinese statues along with the KMP table with some books and ‘Journey to Gaden’ DVDs for sale. Near the thangka display was a large TV that played a video highlighting Kechara Soup Kitchen.