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Laughing in the face of death - Complete Series - Limited Edition
Laughing in the face of death - Complete Series

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Illuminated Iconographic Tibetan Calligraphy.

The complete series of five limited edition giclée prints. Signed and stamped with the personal seal of Tashi Mannox.

These outstanding reproductions are premium-quality giclée printed, on mould-made papers (the finest and oldest paper-making technique) of 310-315 g/m². The papers; Velin and Aquarelle 100% rag, are of museum conservation standard. The UV colorfast ink ensures stability and longevity for 120 years.

Tashi’s creative activity has historically been focused on contemporary Tibetan calligraphy, using the pure expression of bold black ink on the stark contrast of white paper.

It is no surprise to those who know Tashi for his natural relationship with colour; that he has over the past four years, been quietly creating a collection of paintings featuring illuminated Tibetan iconographic calligraphy in vibrant colour.

This new body of works is called:

Laughing in the Face of Death: To live and die without regrets.

At the heart of this new collection is a series of five striking paintings, executed in a full palette of acrylic paint. Tashi utilized techniques usually found in traditional Tibetan Thanka painting. These pieces are intricate and finely shaded and include gold and silver leaf.

Each one of these pieces has taken many months of patience to carefully paint, in contrast to his more instant brisk calligraphy of the past years.

All five painting shows a happy, almost manic grinning skull. The skull is symbolic of impermanence in Tibetan iconography. Each of these emanates a different emotion, from a wrathful to a more peaceful expression.

The set of paintings migrate through different moods, from death to re-birth, known as the bardo in Tibetan, translated as ‘between stage’.

Each of the different moods can also be depicted as the transformation of the five ‘mind poisons’ into the ‘five wisdoms’, associated with the Five ‘Buddha families’.

This is a popular Tibetan Buddhist theme, which Tashi has illuminated to his own interpretation, which is based in his training in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and iconography. Tashi explains:

“A Buddhist practitioner, a Yogi or Yogini, strives to live without harming others and themselves, up to the point of death without any regrets, knowing that they have led a full and meaningful life, and thus able to look into the face of death confidently, laughing without fear.

For such a practitioner the time of death is a great opportunity.

But because generally as a non-practitioner we do not know ourselves, we are ignorant, and fear death, the ultimate unknown”.

Tashi’s intention is that for the viewer of the five paintings, there can be much to contemplate, from standing back and comparing each of the skulls to each other, perhaps noting their supple change in facial expression, to standing close to look into their void like eternally dark eyes.

“Looking into the face of the skull in the painting is somewhat like looking at oneself, a suggestion of ones inner self and emotions, rather like looking into a mirror: it may not be an entirely comfortable experience, but there is a familiarity, which is honest and beautiful at the same time”.

This brings up the point of the general Western attitude to death and emotions, which is somewhat morbid, hidden and generally swept under the carpet. Facing images of death maybe somewhat challenging, but with courage of heart, one can laugh in the face of death, overcoming ones fears and transforming a negative into a positive.

The middle three skulls are crowned with the Sun and Moon, symbolising Wisdom and Compassion, the emblem of balance.


For individual descriptions of each print please click on the links below. Also, if you do not wish to purchase the complete series, you can order individual limited edition prints signed and sealed by the artist.

1. “Laughing in the face of Anger (black)”
2. “Laughing in the face of Attachment (red)”
3. “Laughing in the face of Pride (yellow)”
4. “Laughing in the face of Jealousy (green)”
5. “Laughing in the face of Stupidity (Blue)”

- Large size set of five Skull prints of 67x50 cm @ £2000 GBP
- Large individual Skull prints of 67x50 cm @ £395 GBP each.
(Laughing in the face of Jealousy @ £500 due to large amount of gilding)
- Half size set of five Skull prints of 50x33.5 cm @ £1450 GBP
Half Size Laughing in the face of Jealousy @ £375 due to large amount of gilding
- Half size individual Skull prints of 50x33.5 cm @ £295 GBP each
- Small size set of five Skull prints of 30x40 cm @ £1130 GBP
- Small individual Skull prints of 30x40 cm @ £245 GBP each

If you are interested in purchasing any print from the Tashi Mannox collection, please email us directly with your requirements.

More of Tashi's work can be viewed here.

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Prints & Thangka Repros > Tashi Mannox Calligraphy Prints