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  NOTE: All 108 portraits will be shown for the first time ever on September 29, 2013 in a beautiful setting: Invitation

Tu Ying-Ming, known as Tu-2, is a Los Angeles-based Taiwanese-born artist who has created an internationally exhibited, acclaimed body of work in fine art, photography, and film. After a period of success from his Mao-ology and Timeless series, which garnered critical acclaim from America to Asia and Europe in the 1990s, he took a sabbatical from painting to search his soul, reset his spiritual compass, and examine his increasing calling toward monkhood. A new body of work emerged: a series of spiritual portraits in silver pencil on blue paper that reveal the interior qualities of their subjects. The subjects cover a global range of occupations, ages, races, and interests. Depicted in chiaroscuro (a light-dark technique with ancient roots), the images seem to be floating from darkness to light, most in a state of serenity. Tu-2 was invited to attend Daihonzan Chozen-ji for Zen meditation training. He experienced powerful epiphanies during the meditation rituals there, and has made several pilgrimages since then. His encounters at the dojo have helped him refine his focus on the compassionate connection required to capture a subject's innermost nature. Tu-2's Zen-inspired work reveals a person's true essence, and a real, inner beauty, illuminated by truth. A partial preview (24) of his new Blue Series, "108 Bodhisattvas" premiered and received a blessing at the temple dojo which inspired the heightened spiritual focus and insight required to accomplish these works of conscious art. He named this new series "108 Bodhisattvas" (“enlightened ones”), as in many eastern religions (including Zen Buddhism) the number 108 symbolizes the infinite, or “infinity,” so the name suggests the "infinity" (or endless possibility) of "becoming a Buddha" (or reaching perfection) in "ones who are enlightened." This number is a concept, not a limitation, so the actual number of portraits is ongoing, toward infinity.... Although a collection of 108 of them would rarely be shown at once, due to space requirements, they are ideally viewed as a group, to illustrate the infinite ways in which humanity is connected, through time and space. 

-A. Tripp        

"...Directly realize your True Nature, become a Buddha."    – Bodhidharma
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