Self Portrait

by Lhakpa Doma

collage with stamps and prints of black figure, red and yellow stamp flowers, and white doves

Some Questions for Lhakpa Doma

What inspired you to create “Self Portrait”?

This is a self portrait which represents my religion, my ambition, and my personal nature. In the picture the flower and the wheel which has replaced the head is a linoleum print. I love nature and love being around nature, and that is the reason why I have made the background full of flowers with leaves. I drew pictures of flowers and leaves from a greeting card that one of my friends had sent me. I have always wanted to serve society, and I used to do volunteer work back in my country Nepal. So after coming to the United States, I resumed my studies and decided to be a nurse because I believe that by being a nurse I could fulfil my aim of helping people in need. In the portrait I have glued a silhouette of a nurse to show my commitment and my future. In the place of my head I have printed a wheel, which is also called the wheel of Dharma which represents Buddha’s teaching. This wheel particularly has eight spokes which represent the eight noble paths that Buddha showed us to take in order to achieve enlightenment. The eight spokes represent the right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration and right mindfulness. I grew up listening to my grandmother’s stories and she always used to teach us about Buddha’s teaching and Buddha’s stories which have a great impact on me, so I thought instead of showing my physical body why not show what I always believe in and how I feel inside. I have painted the wheel blue because my favourite colour is blue. I have cut white papers in the shape of a bird and glued them together to represent peace. I want peace and happiness to fly everywhere and especially in a time like this when the world is facing a pandemic. The colours I chose here are blue, red, yellow, green and white, which according to Buddhism, represent the five elements which are fundamental for human beings and nature.

Lhakpa Doma is a current student at LaGuardia Community College.