Piccadilly Circus illuminated by Dalai Lama’s message of hope for 2023

Piccadilly Circus was illuminated on Wednesday evening at 20:23 by a message of hope from the Dalai Lama for the new year.

The three-minute video message was produced by digital art and culture platform The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA), and was broadcast on the Piccadilly Lights screen in central London for ten minutes on Wednesday. 

A large crowd began gathering on the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain an hour before the broadcast, with a strong showing from the Tibetan Community in Britain.

The Art of Hope was also premiered at 20:23 local time across a global network of screens in London, Berlin, Melbourne and Los Angeles.

There was a strong turnout from members of the Tibetan Community in Britain, who came holding Tibetan flags | Image credit: Georgina Findlay

His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote in an official letter: “We must continually consider the oneness of humanity, remembering that we all want to be happy. And indeed, everyone has a right to a happy life.

“Along the way we may be faced with problems, but we must not lose hope. We must keep up our determination without being impatient to achieve quick results.”

The Dalai Lama, one of the most influential figures of our time, calls on the world to consider hope and the oneness of humanity. The 87-year-old spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.

The four life commitments of His Holiness are promoting human values: kindness and compassion, religious harmony, preservation of Tibetan culture and environment, and revival of Ancient Indian Wisdom.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama addressed the world in a video message recorded inside his office in Dharamshala, India, where he lives in exile | Image credit: CIRCA 20:23

Inaugurating the CIRCA 20:23 programme, the exhibition was developed with CIRCA in response to the 2023 manifesto ‘Hope: The Art of Reading What Is Not Yet Written’. Throughout 2023, a series of hopeful commissions will be presented across the CIRCA global platform.

Josef O’Connor, Artistic Director at CIRCA, said: “We are extremely grateful and honoured to launch the CIRCA 20:23 programme with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2023, hope will be the central mission of CIRCA.

“Whilst so many of our challenges are global and yet so much of our globe is deeply fragmented, this message of unity should give everyone reason for hope.”

Dozens of people gathered round the fountain in central London’s Piccadilly Circus to watch the broadcast | Image credit: Georgina Findlay

A limited-edition screen print of The Art of Hope by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is available to purchase on the CIRCA website for £150, with proceeds going towards the Tibet Hope Centre and #CIRCAECONOMY, a circular model that supports the CIRCA free public art programme.

Damdul Topden, Director at the Tibet Hope Centre, said: “We are very happy to collaborate in the promotion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of hope in the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

“The proceeds generated from this beautiful #CIRCAECONOMY print will help the Tibet Hope Centre continue in its mission to unite the Tibetan people with those of other backgrounds.”

The Tibet Hope Centre is a non-governmental organisation that supports Tibetans in becoming productive and positive members of society through various developmental projects in Northern India, offering opportunities for the Tibetan people, volunteers and interns from around the world.

The Art of Hope by the Dalai Lama | Image credit: CIRCA

The Art of Hope will be broadcast in Piccadilly Circus every evening throughout January at 20:23.

Featured image credit: Georgina Findlay

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