A short film about the work of Sanskrit and Tibetan calligrapher Tashi Mannox from the Planetary Collective. Founded in 2011, the Collective responds to the most pressing issues our civilization is currently facing as we push the planet to its brink. Its members, pulling from their Buddhist backgrounds, attribute the roots of the environmental and social crises facing humanity to the misperception that we are separate -from each other, the planet, and the cosmos as a whole. Their forthcoming feature film is titled Planetary.
Tashi Mannox, Precious Human Existence, Chinese Ink on heavy Watercolor Paper/Limited Edition Giclée Print, 57 x 76 cm, Courtesy and © Tashi Mannox.
As a seed, the essence of life, uncoils in growth, delicate, precious and whole. This curling Bindu shape, Sanskrit, Tigli in Tibetan, holds the words ‘precious human birth’ in a Tibetan Drutsa script. Appreciate precious life, as it is difficult to obtain and easily lost -Tibetan Buddhist View.
Tashi Mannox, Dependent Origination, Japanese Mineral Paint on heavy Watercolor Paper, Original Artwork, 57 x 76 cm, 2009, Courtesy and © Tashi Mannox.
The Blue cursive Tsugtung script translates as ‘Natural Law’, en-circling this from the bottom clockwise, in the sequence of linked words in the Petsug script style is called ‘The Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination’ 1. Ignorance, 2. Karmic Propensities, 3. Consciousness, 4. Name and Form, 5. Six Senses, 6. Contact, 7. Sensation, 8. Craving, 9. Grasping, 10. Existence, 11. Birth, 12. Old Age and Death. Several of Mannox’s designs approach the status of calligrams -the arrangement of script to form a picture, a device most often associated with strains of Islamic artistic practice, that visually articulates the verbal meaning in a picture-like manner, amplifying rather than compromising the calligraphic beauty and integrity of the script itself.
Visit the Tashi Mannox website to see more of the calligraphy artist’s beautiful contemporary & traditional work.
Tashi Mannox, an Englishman, and for many years an ordained Buddhist monk, has trained for decades in the arts of Tibetan calligraphy. Today he preserves this tradition as a vehicle to communicate and transmit dharma, all the while adapting and updating his approach within and for contemporary contexts. He identifies three streams in his work: Contemporary and Traditional, Contemporary Black on Black, and Illuminated Iconography.
In honoring contemporary contexts and concerns, some of his designs are presented as sacred tattoos. With certain commissioned work he offers the option of including bespoke seals that are specific to the calligraphic project and its patron. In all cases Tashi’s art is an expression of his long and devoted meditative practice and spiritual realization, such that his art energetically transmits the Tibetan Buddhist View. Grounded thoroughly in the pre-modern Tibetan tradition, incorporating modernist visual schemes, and being multi-cultural and postmodern in drawing on other calligraphic lineages such as the spatial awareness proper to Zen calligraphic practice -while preserving the Tibetan core of style, Tashi Mannox’s art is an authentic and exemplary instance of an integral calligraphy for our age.