Lukhang Temple, Tibet

The Wellcome Trust is a Global Charitable Foundation supporting scientists and researchers with the development of health initiatives all over the world. Their funding helps over 14,000 people in more than 70 countries.

We were asked by them to create a centrepiece model of the Lukhang Temple for an exhibition titled ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple’. The exhibition explored Tibetan Buddhist yogic and meditational practice and their connections to physical and mental wellbeing.

Inspired by an exquisite series of 17th century murals from a private meditation chamber for Tibet’s Dalai Lamas in Lhasa’s Lukhang Temple, the exhibition featured over 120 objects including scroll paintings, statues, manuscripts, archival and contemporary film, together with a wide range of ethnographic and ritual artefacts.

We created the 1:50 model using a laser cutting technique with woods and veneers. The laser cutting produced a burnt effect to enhance the details.

For inspiration and in order to produce the model with accuracy, we referred to quotes from a book on the subject of Lukhang Temple murals.

“The temple’s upper floors are surrounded by projecting lattice-work balconies, typical of Ming Dynasty pavilions. The corners of the hexagonal ‘Mongol style’ roof terminate in wind chimes and gilded dragons. The entire temple is inscribed by a circular wall which, in turn, is surrounded by a ring of ancient, sinuous willows growing along the edge of the carp-filled lake.”