ABOVE AND BELOW
A documentary film by Sheri Brenner
“There are spirits of the mountain, spirits of the water. What if those spirits were gone? Gone because everyone had moved to different places? How would they cope with the new environment?” -Tsherin Sherpa
Above and Below tells the story of just such a spirit.
Tsherin Sherpa, devout Buddhist artist, trained by his father in the art of traditional Tibetan Buddhist thangka painting, moves from Kathmandu to San Francisco and reinvents himself, finding new meaning for an ancient art form, and launching the next wave in Tibetan contemporary art.
From prayer flags to billboards, Above and Below tells the story of Tsherin Sherpa’s evolution from devoted religious painter to world renowned artist.
The Project Story
Urgen Dorje mixes his own paints from ground minerals and gemstones
Urgen Dorje Sherpa and Tsherin Sherpa at home in Boudanath, Nepal
Buddha Thangka by Urgen Dorje Sherpa, 2003
Soon To Be Released: “Images of Enlightenment” is a companion film to Above and Below. It tells the story of Urgen Dorje Sherpa and his contributions to the Art of Thangka Painting.
Watch the Opening
“Rough Cut of Opening Scene of Above and Below” TRT 2:46
Support Above and Below
The film is in final stage of post-production. We are seeking completion funding for upcoming museum screenings. Please support this effort by donating.
Our Potential Funders
Center for Asian American Media
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Rubin Museum, New York
San Francisco Asian Art Museum
Tibet Center, New York
University of San Francisco Jesuit Grant Foundation
Key Creative Team
Sheri Brenner has produced and directed several documentaries on world culture, sacred art, science and technology including the national PBS broadcast of Sandpainting: Sacred Art of Tibet, and In Beauty I Walk. Her life’s work is devoted to revealing and sharing the traditions, beliefs, and spiritual philosophies that lift up and strengthen the heart of humanity. She holds an MFA degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and was the recipient of a Columbia Foundation Grant and a Haas Foundation Grant. She currently serves as Adjunct Faculty and Media Lab Director in the Media Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.
Where to See the Film
Feb. 19, 2022
Nepal Arts Council, Kathmandu
2022 Rubin Museum, NY, New York
2023 Peabody Museum, Cambridge, MA
2023 Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas
Rossi and Rossi Gallery, London
Windhorse Gallery, Nepal
Awaken Podcast Rubin Museum, New York
BAMPFA Boundless Exhibition
San Francisco Asian Art Museum Awaken Exhibition
Nepal Art Council
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Victoria and Albert Museum
Hong Kong Solo Exhibition “Spirits Empowered”
Rubin Museum Tradition Transformed