Object biography by Dakshina Chetti, view full bio HERE, (excerpt below).
Torma, coming from gtor-ba meaning to “cast away, break up, or scatter”, is the singular form for the flour and butter sculptures ritual cakes made as offerings in Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies. Although a staple benefaction in the religious proceedings of the Tibetan peoples, the Torma possesses incredible versatility, both in its range of ‘intended purpose’ and spiritual function, but also in its artistic quality and design. The ritual cakes present themselves in sundry mediums, colors, shapes and sizes, ranging anywhere from uncomplicated dough formations to the most minutely detailed works of sculpture (for example see below). In essence, the Torma cakes, by virtue of their manifold forms, have garnered popular interest and acquired artistic notability beyond the realm of ceremonial practice. As part of this project, I wanted to consider the sculpted Torma as a fundamental subset of this greater practice of homage through art, considering the cakes’ history, symbolism, and the variety of their functions in Tibetan ceremonies.