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Above and Below

Film Screening and Talk with Tsherin Sherpa, Sheri Brenner, and Jorrit Britschgi

Saturday, February 18, 2023
2:45 PM–4:50 PM

Pre-screening tour of the galleries: 2:45″“3:15 PM

Screening and talkback in the theater: 3:30″“4:50 PM

Join us for the the NYC Premiere of the new short film Above and Below, directed and produced by Sheri Brenner, which follows the 19-year rise of artist Tsherin Sherpa. Trained in the art of Tibetan Buddhist thangka painting, Tsherin comes from Kathmandu to San Francisco as a devout religious painter, and struggles to reinvent himself in a new land. In doing so, he finds new meaning for an ancient art form and skyrockets his career to global art stardom.

Throughout the 34-minute film, attendees will recognize artworks by Tsherin Sherpa which have been featured in Rubin Museum exhibitions spanning over a decade, from the 2010 group exhibition Tradition Transformed to solo artworks such as Wish-Fulfilling Tree, crafted in collaboration with local Nepalese metal artists and craftsmen in response to the devastating 2015 Ghorka earthquake in Nepal.

Following the film screening, there will be a talkback and audience Q&A with Rubin Museum Executive Director Jorrit Britschgi and director Sheri Brenner on stage, who will be joined virtually by Tsherin Sherpa.

About the artists

Tsherin Sherpa

Tsherin Sherpa was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1968, and currently lives and works between California and Nepal. From the age of 13, he was trained in traditional Tibetan thangka painting by his father, Master Urgen Dorje. In 1998 Sherpa immigrated to California, where he taught traditional thangka painting until he began to explore his own style, drawing on the visual vocabulary of thangka painting to create artworks that incorporate Buddhist iconography and pop-culture references. His works offer an interplay and juxtaposition between sacred/secular, traditional/contemporary, and settlement/movement. Sherpa’s practice stems from his personal experiences within the Himalayan diaspora, as well as the nomadic history of Himalayan peoples. Sherpa has participated in numerous exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the US, including representing Nepal for its inaugural participation at the Venice Biennale in 2022. His works are in the major museum collections. In February 2022 the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presented his first museum, mid-career retrospective. In 2022, Tsherin Sherpa joined the Rubin Museum’s Board of Trustees.

Sheri Brenner

Sheri Brenner has produced and directed numerous documentaries on world culture, spiritual philosophy, sacred art, science, and technology. Her credits include the national PBS broadcast of Sandpainting: Sacred Art of Tibet, and In Beauty I Walk. Her life’s work is devoted to revealing and sharing the traditions, beliefs, and spiritual philosophies that lift up and strengthen all humanity. She holds an MFA degree in cinema from San Francisco State University, and was the recipient of a Haas Foundation Grant and a Columbia Foundation Grant. She currently serves as Adjunct Faculty and Media Lab Director in the Media Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.

Her film Above and Below is the outcome of a lifelong love of Buddhist art and philosophy. Her upcoming film, Images of Enlightenment was originally conceived as a companion piece to Above and Below. It tells the story of Tsherin’s father, Urgen Dorje Sherpa, and his contributions to the art of thangka painting.

A standard ticket grants access to pre-program tour and screening of Above and Below followed by a talkback and Q+A.

Member tickets are free with member ID login and grant access to tour and screening along with a post-screening meet-and-greet with Executive Director Jorrit Britschgi.