Insight: Seeing the Inner Self

Portraits by Tu-2 (Tu Ying-ming), conversation with Tu-2 and Angela Oh

October 16, 2012
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Taaffes Bar,

Please register for this free event on our online registration page.

Join us for a preview of the show “108 Bodhisattvas,” as well as a conversation with artist Tu-2 (Tu Ying-ming) and meditation teacher and lawyer Angela E. Oh. The full body of work, 108 Bodhisattvas, will be premiered in 2013 at a workshop and show in Commonweal Gallery.


Tu-2 (Tu Ying-ming, or English: Ying Ming Tu) is a visual fine artist who focuses on painting, photography, and documentary films. Born to a Hakka family in Taiwan, Tu-2 was infatuated with faces at a young age, influenced by the Taiwanese puppet shows. Tu-2 later made the first portrait of his father, during a near-death experience, awakening in him the idea that art can transcend life. As a martial artist, Tu-2 was chosen to join the corps of personal bodyguards for Chiang Kai-Shek and his family. As a photojournalist, he traveled extensively along the Silk Road. He has also been a documentary filmmaker, art reviewer, and founding director of the first Chinese-American television news unit in Taiwan.

In the early 80’s, Tu-2 came to the U.S. to study film and television at UCLA, and became the news director of the major Chinese-American television station broadcasting from Los Angeles, Chicago, and eventually New York. After a period of robust success with his first two series, Tu took a prolonged sabbatical from painting to search his soul, reset his spiritual compass, and examine his increasing calling toward monkhood. A new body of work began to emerge around six years ago: a series of spiritual portraits in silver pencil on blue paper that reveal the interior qualities of their subjects. Depicted in chiaroscuro (a light-dark technique with ancient roots)—but using a silver pencil to draw only the light—the images seem to be floating from darkness to light, mostly in a state of serenity. Learn more about Tu-2 on his website.

Angela E. Oh is the former executive director of the Western Justice Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advances peaceful resolution of conflict. She has worked as an attorney, public lecturer, and teacher of Zen meditation. In 1992, Oh gained national prominence as a spokesperson and mediating force for the Asian American community during the Los Angeles riots. Thereafter, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton as one of seven Advisory Board Members to the President’s Initiative on Race, which was charged with engaging the nation in a dialogue on race relations in the United States of America. Oh’s public lectures and writings reflect the opportunities and challenges that diversity presents. Her lectures have taken her to China, Korea, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Her teaching appointments have been at UCLA School of Law, UCLA Asian American Studies Department, and UC Irvine School of Social Sciences and Political Science. Oh is also an ordained Priest, Zen Buddhist—Rinzai Sect.