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Rubin Museum NYC

Mandala Lab (ongoing)

Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art presents the Mandala Gong Lab -- envisioned by curator Tim McHenry, to transfer energy and anger into mirror-like wisdom. Gongs donated by Peter Gabriel, Evelyn Glennie, Sheila E., Huang Ruo, Sarah Hennies, Shivamani, and scent library/video story by Laurie Anderson.

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Mandala Lab (ongoing)
Mandala Lab (ongoing)

Time & Location

Open hours

Rubin Museum NYC, 150 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011, USA

About the event



ON VIEW // OCTOBER 1, 2021 – OCTOBER 1, 2026

An Interactive Space for Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning

The Mandala Lab, located on the Museum’s remodeled third floor, invites curiosity about our emotions. Consider how complex feelings show up in your everyday life and imagine how you might have the power to transform them.

Inspired by powerful Buddhist principles, the Mandala Lab features five thought-provoking, playful experiences—including videos, scents, sculpture, and curated percussion instruments—that guide you along an inner journey focused on self-awareness and awareness of others. See, smell, touch, and breathe your way through the space, designed to inspire connection, empathy, and learning.

The Mandala Lab includes artist contributions from:

  • Laurie Anderson
  • Sanford Biggers
  • Tenzin Tsetan Choklay
  • Billy Cobham
  • Amit Dutta
  • Sheila E.
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Dame Evelyn Glennie
  • Sarah Hennies
  • Huang Ruo
  • Shivamani
  • Wang Yahui
  • Palden Weinreb
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Bora Yoon
  • Scents created by Christophe Laudamiel
  • Select gongs manufactured by Ryan Shelledy or Matt Nolan, UK | Sourced and advised by Samer Ghadry

About Mandalas and Emotions

Mandalas are Buddhist teaching tools that can be used to learn how to confront and transform feelings of pride, attachment, envy, anger, and ignorance. Known as kleshas in Buddhism, these five afflictive emotions cloud our understanding of the world. Through a deep, sustained investigation of these emotions, some Buddhist practitioners cultivate corresponding wisdoms and skills that help them shift their view of the world, themselves, and others. Each activity on the floor is designed to help you examine these specific emotional states.

A Space for Visitors of All Ages

The Mandala Lab welcomes guests of all ages. Stress, difficult emotions, and change occur at all stages of our lives and impact the way we view ourselves, one another, and the world around us. In the Mandala Lab, the Rubin offers a range of emotional literacy programs for adults, families, students, educators, and more that build emotional intelligence so we can all better navigate our lives.

Lead support of the Mandala Lab is provided by the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, Rasika and Girish Reddy, Shelley and Donald Rubin, and the Tiger Baron Foundation. Major support is provided by Anne and Albert Chao, Anne E. Delaney, Noah P. Dorsky, the Estate of Lisina M. Hoch, The Prospect Hill Foundation, Namita and Arun Saraf, Eileen Caulfield Schwab, Taipei Cultural Center in New York, and New York Life. Public funds are provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

We additionally thank the generosity of 223 sponsors and donors who contributed to our 2020 gala, Inside the Mandala: A Virtual Gala. The Mandala Lab’s multi-year campaign is underway, and our supporter list is in formation.

Mandala Lab opening weekend is sponsored by New York Life.

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