Born in the nomadic region of Eastern Tibet known as Khampa, Samten Dakpa was the seventh child of nine children. In the family there was no money to send him to school and so Samten herded goats, sheep and yak all day. As a young boy waiting for the herd to finish grazing Samten taught himself to draw anywhere he could leave a trace using mostly the nearby snow, dirt and mud. Later, as a teenager, Samten started creating ice and rock sculptures and unique land art on the water, ice and land.
The monks in the nearby monastery were convinced that Samten was the reincarnation of a great master as he had developed such a high level of skill with so little to work with. As Samten started painting Tibetan thangkhas, which are beautiful traditional paintings, he has applied the skills he developed in his youth. Achieving such craftsmanship without pencils, paint or paper further convinced the monks that Samten was a reincarnation of a great master.
At an early age, Samten won regional competitions and was competing for commissions with masters twice his age. Samten journeyed out of Tibet into India, and into New York City where he is now based. Samten has exhibited all over the world and his creative efforts extend to sculpture, interior design, and architecture.
Samten is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Tibetan Bridge. Samten and Tibetan Bridge's goal is give the impoverished children of Eastern Tibet a chance to become well educated and successful members of their society. Read more of Tibetan Bridge at www.tibetanbridge.org.