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This world premiere exhibition of 108 portraits by Tu-2 opened in Commonweal Gallery on September 29th, 2013, marked by meditation, celebration and a festive reception, capped by a brilliant in-depth interview by Michael Lerner, president and co-founder of Commonweal, for podcast by the New School (Click for full interview). The portraits represent subjects whose inner essence and work captured the artist's interest. More than 20 of these thought leaders gathered at Commonweal for the "Gift of Compassion" weekend of September 27-29 to share their experiences and insights, working on multiple solutions so that contemporary visionaries and future generations can gain processes and methods to manage the stress-producing challenges of making positive social change. Above is Tu-2's 3-minute video meditation on the show, focusing on the people who came to the opening conversation and viewing of this collective portrait of humanity. Below is Tu-2's original pre-show Video / Invitation (1:44), featuring sensitive close-ups of a select group of portraits, followed further below by a short video essay dealing with a shocking but defining mishap early in his blue series -- a unique, powerful piece based on a true story: "Lost and Found," with original music.

Following the first gathering in late September, there was another conversation at Commonweal in late October/early November. People are aware that something vital needs to be passed along... urgently. This work will continue to evolve as there are new places and people to connect with conversations about what remains vital at this time in our world. The intent is to uplift and heal human spirit, mind, and body, with revealing presentations and dialogue about connection, process and paradigm.

The number 108 symbolizes the infinite, or “infinity” in many eastern religions, including Zen Buddhism. This number is a concept, not a limitation, so the actual number of portraits is ongoing, toward infinity.... The artist's intent is simply to hold up 108 (infinite) glowing, crystal clear mirrors, so we can recognize ourselves and our interconnectedness, establishing conditions that make it possible to reach serenity and make a better world.

While each portrait yields abundant rewards when studied individually, the series is ultimately meant to be viewed all together. Taken as a group, the 108, echoing infinity, becomes more than just an impressive tour de force of masterful portraiture and passion. This full gathering of conscious art may bypass the filters of ego or intellect and reach beyond our ordinary, subjective perception... waking up the "supermind" to enable the viewer to directly experience universal consciousness of our connection with each other, our world, all life, all space and time.

                                “Drawing like this is like dancing on a tightrope - it only comes from years of experience, not only
                                of drawing, but also of seeing with the heart.” – Scott Alberts, storyboard artist (The Simpsons)

                                Tu-2 is “…a master at his craft, and captures with silver pencil depths of expression that rival the
                                likes of Rembrandt and da Vinci.” – Lee Brown, Ph.D.


It is a rare gift to be able to view a multimedia installation of such a large collection, due to the usual constraints of space and logistics. Thanks to the vision of Commonweal and made possible with funding from The California Endowment and The Whitman Institute, this unique experience is available for the first time ever in the large and beautiful Commonweal Gallery in Bolinas. The stunning property, located on the bluffs of one of the most beautiful beach towns in Northern California, offers lush meadows, great ocean views, walking and hiking, on a beautiful 60-acre site overlooking the Ocean in the Point Reyes National Seashore, less than an hour from San Francisco.


Commonweal Gallery, Bolinas, California       Directions/Map      Google Map 

Press Inquiries: Adrienne Tripp,

108 VIDEO / INVITATION  (below)

LOST and FOUND  (below)

 Michael Lerner, founder and president of Commonweal  (Listen to podcast)


Tom Coffman:

In a world of individuals striving to be an original item, Tu Ming simply is one. Who on earth would spend a week of work time sketching a face with a silver pencil on dark blue paper? Face after face, week after week, month after month, year after year? The result.... 




Lee Brown:

Ming is an exceptional and extraordinarily talented artist. He is... (more)

...captures with silver pencil depths of expression that rival the likes of Rembrandt and da Vinci.


Angela E. Oh:

When I first met Ming, he was introduced as "Tu-2." I wasn't quite sure what to make of that name... (more)

Over time, I had the chance to know Ying Ming Tu intimately because our lives intersected in a most unusual way...


Scott Alberts:

He threw himself into his drawing, exclaiming out loud in appreciation for the model's poses, and drew with such passion that I decided to...  (more)

...the more invisible a technique, the more difficult it is to actually accomplish. Drawing like this is...



Bob Nakata:

...I was amazed at Ming's portrait of me. It revealed...(more)

My self image has been of a quiet and somewhat aloof personality whom few would be inspired to follow. I now understand why people have wanted me to step forward as a leader, why they want me to lead...



Gordon Greene:

I saw myself dead for the first time. As a Zen priest...(more)

...the sensation was unmistakable - that is me dead. And it made me so happy, and still does to this day. (more)... It is no coincidence that the subject of my talk that night was death, using my experience as...


Russell Leong:

Each face has its own blue mind
Blue, when you sing the blues
Mindful, when you travel
To the other side of the Earth
Alone.   (more...)





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