Ven. Lobsang Konchok feeds a koala, Australia, 2017. Photo courtesy of Buddha House.

Student Carole Migalka of Buddha House, near Adelaide, Australia, shared a brief profile of resident artist Ven. Lobsang Konchok:

During Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s visit to Buddha House in May 2015, Rinpoche spoke of a Tibetan artist, Ven. Lobsang Konchok, residing in Brisbane, Australia, who would be suitable for painting Buddha House’s Sixteen Arhat statues, newly acquired from Nalanda Monastery in France. Ven. Lobsang Konchok agreed to do the work and is being hosted in the Adelaide Hills by some of Rinpoche’s students. In the past year he has been embraced by local Tibetan families, shopkeepers, neighbors, and animals alike.

Ven. Lobsang Konchok was born in Kham in eastern Tibet. When he was a child, his family gave sanctuary to a master thangka painter in the top story of their house due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Ven. Lobsang began to train in traditional thangka painting. In 1989 when his teacher and other monks were allowed to return to their monasteries, Ven. Lobsang entered Gansa Monastery-Tashi Ganden Chopeling at age fifteen.

Ven. Lobsang Konchok stands in front of the statues and altar he decorated. Photo courtesy of Buddha House.

In 1990, Ven. Lobsang and his cousin escaped from Tibet to India, trekking across the Himalayas, through Nepal, and arrived in India three months and two days later. In India, Ven. Lobsang took gelong ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, completed his monastic studies, and continued his rigorous religious art training, studying thangka painting under His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s personal thangka painter in Dharamsala, at Norbulingka Institute, and at Drepung Monastery .

Ven. Lobsang Konchok installing Sixteen Arhat statues in completed altar. Photo courtesy of Buddha House.

In addition to the stunning art work on both the statues and the altar cabinetry, Ven. Lobsang has made new signs for Buddha House; adorned the Medicine Buddha thangka with brocade; crafted a donation box out of recycled timber; built a life-size yak for a Tibetan float in the Australia Day parade; tamed the resident koala; made a bird feeder encircled with mantras; and is spotted walking the property misting the millipedes and bull-ants with a specially prepared mani pill spray.

Ven. Lobsang Konchok creates life-size yak for Australia Day parade. Photo courtesy of Buddha House.

“I’m very happy here in Bridgewater,” Ven. Lobsang shared. “While painting the Sixteen Arhat statues and rolling the mantras, I had the good result of obtaining permanent residency in Australia after four years of trying. The family I live with is very kind; it’s nice and quiet, nice view and many parrots and koalas. Now when I’m painting thangkas and listening to teachings, I feel it’s like a pure land!”

Watch Ven. Lobsang Konchok chant to and give water to a koala:

Ven. Lobsang Konchok is available for thangka painting and other art projects on request. For more details contact

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