The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu, itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Karmapa was Tibet's first consciously incarnating lama.
The historical seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet.
The Karmapa's principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India.
His regional monastic seats are Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York and Dhagpo Kagyu .
During the Pre-iconic phase (5th–1st century BCE) artists were reluctant to depict the Buddha anthropomorphically, and developed sophisticated aniconic symbols to avoid doing so (even in narrative scenes where other human figures would appear).
This tendency remained as late as the 2nd century CE in the southern parts of India, in the art of the Amaravati School.
In Tibet the vast majority of surviving artworks created before the mid-20th century are dedicated to the depiction .