On Friday, December 2, 2011, Sunti began the clay foundation for his bronze bust of the eminent Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche as his gift to the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. Sunti first learned about the Garden from visitors who met Sunti and viewed his artwork at the CM Russell Art Show in Great Falls Montana in March 2010 – the same weekend it was announced that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet would be making his first visit to Montana. With the excitement over Sunti’s fiberglass resin sculpture, Grandfather Monk Luan, many enthusiastic Montanans encouraged Sunti to sculpt the Dalai Lama in honor of his visit to Montana. With a little research, Sunti discovered that the true reason for His Holiness’ visit was to bless a Buddhist sanctuary only 70 miles from his gallery – the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.
After contacting the Garden regarding his desire to sculpt the Dalai Lama, Sunti offered to donate an additional casting to the Garden, in addition to possible monetary donations via fundraising in his homeland, Thailand. Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche graciously accepted Sunti’s gift, and shared his desire to display Sunti’s sculpture outdoors. After several months, Sunti had yet to return to Thailand to fundraise and his country was overwhelmed with political turmoil, followed by months of devastating floods. During this time, Sunti further studied the biography and accomplishments of Gochen Tulku, the honorable humanitarian and sixth incarnation of Gyalwa Gyatso; a man of equal holiness to the Dalai Lama. With the option of fundraising eliminated and Sunti’s mounting interest in Rinpoche himself, Sunti offered to sculpt not only a bust of His Holiness as his gift to the Garden, but also an original bust of Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche. Sunti envisions the busts on two equal pedestals in an entryway, welcoming visitors. Both sculptures will be cast in bronze, adhering to Rinpoche’s request to display the pieces outdoors. Please visit Sunti’s website www.suntiworldart.com for updates regarding his bust of Rinpoche and original sculpture of the Dalai Lama.