Discipline Faculty

Wheel of Life: An Animated Thangka Painting

Kunga Thinley

Kaushik Chakraborty

Kunga’s animation film ‘Wheel of Life’ is about the Tibetan painting of the same title. The Wheel of Life is perhaps the most common of all pictures found in Buddhist art. It is seen on the walls of monasteries and painted scrolls all over the Himalayan region. All parts of the painting represent some of the more fundamental teachings in Buddhism such as the Karmic laws of cause and effect and the three Cardinal sins; ignorance, hatred, and greed.
One finds various depictions of this painting in various mediums in Tibetan art forms. It has an ever-evolving history ranging from Thangka paintings to being sculpted on rocks. The film is a crossover between this ancient painting and the modern techniques of animation and filmmaking, with an attempt to bring attention to this historical piece, to a wider range of audience. Kunga’s film attempts to bridge the gap between the youth and traditional culture.