Khyenle Art Center
Since 19th Century
Khyenle Art Center in Dzongsar
Made in Tibet by Tibetans
Khyenle are center located in Dzongsar (Meshod) in Kham Derge, eastern part of Tibet. Dzongsar also known as The Valley of Arts and Crafts with over 2,000 artisans, which is one third of the population, who are practicing over 16 genres of Tibetan arts and crafts. Khyenle art Center current has 33 full time artisan who's crafting skills have been perfected through many generations, as part of our community heritage since 1820.
Khyenle Art Workshop
Artisan in Residence
We offer to whose who are interested in Tibetan art the opportunity to work with local Khyenle artists create their own personal artwork. We also customize and hands-on workshops for art school students and groups tours including bronze sand-casting ,clay sculpture, and wood painting to experience local authentic artisan culture and life.
Sustain Tibetan Craftsmanship
Empower Local Crafts
Khyenle’s primary value is quality rather than the quantity of the products. Their crafting skills have been perfected through many generations, as part of our community heritage since 1820.Khenyle offers apprenticeship for the young Tibetans so they can become inheritors of Tibetan art and craftsmanship and carry forward the Tibetan tradition.
Khyenle Guest House
A Chance Experience Local Artisan Life
Join Us and Be Part of Khyenle
Khyenle Guest House is located above Khyenle Art Center. Guests welcome to visit the Art Center during the opening hours (8:30am-7:00pm). A shared kitchen is located on the first floor where breakfast and dinner are served as the guest requires. A greenhouse is located behind the Khyenle guest house growing local vegetables for guests and artisans at Khyenle art center.
Contact Us for Reservation
Who We Are
Tibetan craftsman on a mission to develop and sustain our own culture.
Nima has been bronze smithing and sculpting since his early childhood. He is the most talented and well-know sculptor in Dzongsar. He is the father of two and a master teacher of more than 30 students over the past 15 years. When it comes to arts and crafts he is a perfectionist; he emphasizes to his students that arts and crafts is a life long learning experience you can only improve over time. As the sixth generation of Khyenle crafts Nima said, “Khyenle is all about its quality not the quaintly.”
Dawa Dakpa is one of younger generation of Khyenle inheritors. After middle school he decided to carry on Khyenle tradition and started learning the arts and crafts from his father, Nima. When it comes to Khyenle he is one of most creative, full of new ideas to lead Khyenle. He said “Khyenle is beyond traditional bronze arts, it’s a way of cultural survival in the modern world by empowering local Tibetan artisans in a innovative way.”
Dawa Drolma grow up in in Dzongsar. She finished her undergraduate in Business in U.S.A. She is passionate about Tibetan art and craft with many years of experience in Tibetan arts and crafts research and facilitating networks for Tibetan artisan businesses. People know her as Photographer, Filmmaker with more than 6 international awards. "I want to make sure every Khyenle artisan's dream come true through Khyenle's mission."
Bujie is one of the best and most remarkable artists. He has been sculpting with his Uncle Nima since he was a child. His parents divorced when he was child. He and his sister lived with their uncle until they got married. Now he is a husband of a beautiful wife and a father of two kids. He said. “Khyenle empowers people like me who never had a chance to get a proper education and struggles to feed a whole family from a single income.”
Pema Dorjie is an honest and shy person. He learned arts and crafts in the 1990’s when he was a teenager. Since 2000 he focuses on wax sculpture at Khyenle. He is a brilliant and hardworking person, he is always the first person who arrives in the morning and last person who leaves the workshop. He said, “Khyenle reliability and flexibility to me. Work at Khyenle is not seasonal and rigid like farming, herding, or looking for caterpillar fungus where you can only work in certain times and have to work during those times. At Khyenle I can always work whenever I want in a year and any days of the week. I can easily manage my time with other things in my life. ”
Tsering Norbu is a person who always has a big smile on his face. He was a nomad before he started learning drawing and painting from his master, Tsewang Drojie, at the age of 18. His master passed away later but he continued his learning while traveling around to make a living by painting furniture. Now he is a distinguished painter with 17 years of experience in painting. He lives with his parents, wife and two kids who all depend on his single income. “I always admired craftsman when I was herder on the mountains. Khyenle means dreams came true for me. Being an artist or a craftsman and making a living by drawing and making beautiful things was my childhood dream. Here I am.”
Dawa Dolma is one of few female sculptors at the Khyenle workshop. She is a shy but very talented young woman. She is 21 years old and she started learning crafts at the age of 18 after her primary school. Her parents couldn’t afford to pay for her education. She has 3 elder siblings who take care of the yak herd and 2 younger siblings in school. She has already started supporting her family with her income. “I want to be an independent woman who doesn’t need to just wait for a man to feed me. I use the skills and knowledge I learned at Khyenle to make a living by myself and for my family. Khyenle makes me feel secure.”
Tse Gagy is one of the oldest craftsmen in the workshop. He is a grandfather and lives with his son, daughter-in-law, and a grandkid. He is a knowledgeable man who been through many difficulties in the past. He is also a great storyteller and a devoted Buddhist who is well respected by his coworkers. His wife passed away a few years ago and since then he came to the workshop to do the polishing work for Khyenle. He said, “Working here is also a part of religious practice. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to polish all the Buddha sculptures with my hands and make them shine. While I am polishing I can pray for all the sentient beings.”
We always strive for the best since nineteenth century.
What we do
Khyenle makes exquisite traditional bronze artwork, including sculptures, jewelry and keepsakes in varieties that are both designed and handmade by local crafts masters. Khyenle’s primary value is quality rather than the quantity of the products. Their crafting skills have been perfected through many generations, as part of their family heritage. Khenyle offers apprenticeship for the young Tibetans so they can become inheritors of Tibetan art and craftsmanship and carry forward the Tibetan tradition. We also provide workshops, led by local artists, to those who are interested in the experience of creating their own personal artwork
Tibetan bronze art has a long history. The Khyenle bronze lineage was founded in the nineteenth century. The first reincarnation of Dzongsar Khyentse was born in 1820. Based on the technique of lost-wax casting and sand-casting, he founded a unique bronze style well-known as Khyenle by Tibetans. With its unique bronze material and exquisite craftsmanship, it won much praise. The first Dzongsar Khyentse personally guided Naru Dochi to learn and make Khyenle. After five generations of transmission, Tashi Dorji passed his Khyenle skills to Shali Nima, who is the current bearer of the Khyenle tradition
Our brand, Khyenle empowers local craftsmen as artists and provides employment opportunities to them. With the skills and talents at hand, we can develop our own economy without severing ties to our past. We believe if we are economically independent, we can choose to develop and sustain our own culture instead of being constantly subject to outside economic forces. We can decide our own future
Most of the so-called “Tibetan handicrafts” on the market at present are neither made in Tibet nor made by Tibetans. Khyenle promises that all the products are handmade in Tibet by Tibetan artisans. Every product of Khyenle is more than artwork; it has the spiritual and educational values of Tibetan arts and culture. Khyenle address the well being of and benefit the people who are either customers or employees. We believe in benefits of all via fair wages, fair-trade practices, safe work environments, retention rates, ethical standards, local hiring, local sourcing, local participation, local charitable contributions and contributions to community living standards.
Where we are ?
Khyenle workshop is located in a small valley in the eastern part of Tibet called Dzongsar. It's in Derge County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China.
Available at the Rubin Museum of Art