About Rinzin

Rinzin Chophel was born in Chorten Kora in eastern Bhutan. In 1965, aged 14, he studied Tibetan art at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India.  The monastery was then the seat of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa.

Rumtek Monastery, where Rinzin studied
Under the guidance of his mentor, Tashi Jamstho, Rinzin spent 10 years at Rumtek mastering his skills in Tibetan painting and crafts. Tashi Jamstho was a renowned Tibetan thangka artist from Trungpa Rinpoche's monastery in eastern Tibet. As an apprentice under his mentor's guidance, Rinzin made a significant contribution to Rumtek monastery: the works that he and his master produced can still be seen today at Rumtek.

Rinzin's late mother, Chorten Zangmo, was a very skilled weaver. She always used natural vegetable dyes, and hand spun cotton and silk to make threads. From an early age, Rinzin was fascinated and intrigued by his mother's expertise: by her side at the loom, he constantly asked her to explain design motifs and techniques. Rinzin has been able to draw on this deep knowledge, acquired over decades, in establishing and growing his Bhutanese textiles business.

In 1976 his family moved to Kathmandu, Nepal and Rinzin began collecting exquisite textiles and paintings from the Himalayan region, with a special focus on Bhutan. In 1981 he held several European exhibitions of Tibetan thangka paintings and Bhutanese textiles in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. In 1983, Rinzin opened his showroom in Kathmandu which specialises in quality textiles and artifacts, as well as Tibetan thangka paintings. Many monasteries and Buddhist centres look to Rinzin to provide objects and textiles.

In 1988 he held a most successful Bhutanese textile exhibition at the Douglas Dawson Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. While in Chicago he lectured on Tibetan paintings and Bhutanese textiles. That same year, he held a show at Madison,Wisconsin.

Since then Rinzin has held many exhibitions and participated in shows in Australia, Mexico City, and San Fransisco, Los Angeles, New York, Santa Barbara, Sebastopol, San Rafael and Boulder in the USA.