Lecture and Guided tour


19 July 2023

  • „Indigenous Elements in Himalayan Buddhist Art” – lecture by J.F. Marc Des Jardins, PhD, CMD, introducing the artistic tradition of Tibetan indigenous, Non-Buddhist Bön tradition and its influence on Himalayan Buddhist art. A comparison will be made between Buddhist and Bon art forms in terms of basic pantheon imagery, symbols and composition. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of indigenous elements in Buddhist thangka.
  • Guided tour of the Buddhist Art exposition of the National Gallery with Lyudmila Klasanova, PhD.


About the speakers:

J. F. Marc Des Jardins, PhD, CMD, is an Associate Professor at the Department of Religions and Cultures at Concordia University in Montreal. He researches religions and cultures along the former Sino-Tibetan borders, studying Tibetan indigenous cults and Chinese ritual practices and beliefs. Trained initially as a Sinologist, he has been engaged in field-based research in Sichuan and Qinghai since 1991, researching Chinese religious groups (Daoist networks) and Tibetan bönpo communities. His latest research project focuses on the Bön cult of stellar deities. He has lectured and given seminars in international venues since joining Concordia in 2005 and has published widely in scholarly publications. His latest book, namely “The Tradition of Everlasting Bön: Five Key Texts on Scripture, Tantra, and the Great Perfection” (Wisdom Publications, August 2023) consists in translation of five treatises, ranging from the 12th to the 15th centuries) emblematic of the current beliefs and practices in contemporary Bön.

Lyudmila Klasanova is a lecturer of eastern religions and cultures at the Center for Eastern Languages and Cultures at the Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Book and Printed Graphics Department of the National Academy of Arts, Bulgaria, a master’s degree in East Asian Studies, and a Ph.D. in Indian and Tibetan Culture from the Sofia University, Bulgaria. In the period 2014 – 2018, she was curator in the field of Buddhist and Asian art at the National Gallery, Bulgaria. Currently, she is specializing in Religious Studies at the University in Bergen, Norway. She is an author of the books “Female Figures in Buddhism of India and Tibet”, published in 2018 by East-West Indology Foundation, Bulgaria, and “Do You Want to Try? Yoga for Kids”, published in 2022 by Eternal Tree Books LLC.


Unknown artist, Nepal
Tantric Deity Chakrasaṃvara in Union with Vajravārāhī, 19th c.
Inv. No. I-Аз-ск-424