Chris Levine, Compassion

POSTED: Monday, July 6, 2015

As a light artist, Chris Levine's artwork explores the multi-mediums of light including lenticulars, lasers and natural light. But it's not just the physical property of light Levine explores for, as practising Buddhist, Levine also looks for the metaphysical qualities of his subjects; their spirituality.


This makes Levine's most recent commission his most significant and exciting to date, as this summer he was asked by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to create a series of portraits to commemorate his 80th birthday.


Chris Levine, Compassion, Dalai Lama.jpg


The first image to be released from the session shows the Dalai Lama relaxed in a meditative pose, embodying the peace within the leader as well as the message he conveys through Buddhism. In an interview with The Telegraph recently, Levine explains how light, meditation and truth are intrinsically linked and therefore why it's so central to his work:


"Einstein said, we are all compressed light. Everything is energy, so working with light, preserving it, playing with it, manipulating it, somehow it’s connecting with the unsung reality, an optimum reality that you have to tune into. Meditation is harmonising with what is. That’s reality and that’s a good starting point – the truth."


Chris Levine Dalai Lama


The Dalai Lama himself very rarely sits for portraits, however on this occassion he agreed to do so as Levine will donate all proceeds to charities that are working with communities affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal.


The print, titled Compassion, has been captured using the same 3D light technology that was used to create the iconic Equanimity portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. So even though exact details of the print are yet to be disclosed, we can imagine it will capture the world's imagination in much the same as Lightness of Being has over the years. Much like Lightness of Being, in Compassion the Dalai Lama is resting calmly and serenely, however, unlike the Queen, his eyes are open and looking earnestly into the lens of the camera, as if in an effort to connect with each viewer individually.


Chris Levine, Equanimity  Chris Levine Lightness of Being


Today on July 6th, the world will be celebrating 80 years since the rebirth of the Dalai Lama and what better way to celebrate than with a creative initiative that spreads not only spiritual benevolence, but also charity and care for those who are most in need of that kindness. Head to to follow the commission and the good work it will support.



 All images of His Holiness the Dalai Lama courtest of