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.
Mr. Dakpa's artwork is one of the most impressive bodies of work I hve ever seen of traditional Tibetan art forms such as tangka painting. I was so impressed by his skills that I asked him to paint me pieces in each of the regional styles of Tibetan painting .
I began with a Medicine Buddha tangka and asked him to paint one for me in any style he preferred. He painted it for me in the northern Tibetan style of painting.