WHO WE ARE
RIGPA ARTS is composed of Bone Lhamo Kyap and Laura Shirreff. We are a marriage of East and West, of soul and spirit, of aged and modern approaches.
Our story began in November 2013 at a music club on the Bund in Shanghai, China. Despite our vastly different upbringings, we had an instant soul connection. Our meeting was the start of a remarkable journey. Laura experienced first hand the rich culture of China’s Northwest region and discovered a deeply rooted affinity with the land and its people, and Bone began to travel internationally, which offered opportunities to share his powerful voice and unique story of hardship and hope.
Since founding RIGPA ARTS together, we have hosted Yoga with Live Music events in Shanghai, New York and California and we are now offering retreats in the Tibetan region of Bone’s hometown province.
Our journey continues and we look forward to having you share and be a part of our story.
Bone grew up in the Gannan highland of Northwest China between Tibet, Mongolia and the Huangtu high ground. He was raised by his grandmother in a rural community and although his family had limited resources and opportunities, his passion for music filled his mind with possibilities and his heart with dreams. He began singing at a young age and at thirteen was afforded the rare opportunity to play guitar when he was gifted an old hand-me-down by a relative. He spent the rest of his teenage years experimenting with music on his own and with the help of his step-father. At eighteen, Bone left his home in Gansu and moved to Shanghai with two of his hometown brothers. They shared a small space in the loft of an old lane house and began working in an electronics factory. Despite the hardships of his new life, Bone’s vision remained set on his greater purpose for music. Later, he and one of his brothers found work in a Turkish restaurant and encountered foreigners for the first time. Bone began to learn English and changed jobs, next working as a bartender at live music bars and eventually as a salesman in music shops on Jinling Road. He started to perform and mingle with Shanghai's best foreign musicians. Recognizing his unique voice and powerful charisma, they instantly became his friends and mentors and continue to encourage him to this day. Bone’s music has evolved from performing Western cover songs to turning back to his roots, seeking an authentic sound and message that is healing for himself and anyone lucky enough to listen, while simultaneously preserving a dying cultural treasure passed to him from his earliest days in Gansu. Bone has been performing internationally since 2014 and his live music performances have become increasingly popular in Yoga Studios in Shanghai, China and now in California, in the San Francsisco Bay Area.
Laura grew up in a small town in Kent not far from London in the U.K. Studying at an International School, her passion for weaving, yoga and Asian studies began at sixteen years of age. Her first trip to Asia was to Thailand in 2001. She began to study Buddhist philosophy and Asian Art, which strongly influenced her creative and meditative practice. Since then and more than eighteen years later, her passions have remained intertwined. After her first year of college, she travelled to volunteer at a fair trade organization in Bali, Indonesia and later to Japan to study Japanese Traditional and Contemporary Textile Art. After graduating in 2008 from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in Textiles and a minor in Asian Studies, she worked as a Textile Technician and founded a non profit in Providence R.I. Three years later, in 2011, she moved to Shanghai China, to work as a Textile Designer for ICICLE, one of China's leading environmentally conscious fashion brands. As well as teaching yoga and practicing Reiki, Laura continues to work as a freelance textile professional, striving to collaborate with eco-conscious fashion brands. She strongly believes that the deep awareness and mindful attitude we nurture through yoga can and should be brought into our everyday lives, including the fashion and textile industries.