Thangka: Witnesses of the Integration of Chinese and Tibetan Cultures

Seetao 2022-09-19 14:48
  • The inheritance and development of thangka has absorbed the cultural essence of various ethnic groups
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Thangka has been passed down on the snowy plateau for more than a thousand years. This art form, which was once called oriental oil painting in the West, pays attention to painting thousands of scenes within a square inch. Thangka is very similar to Western oil painting in terms of painting procedures. Its art form and techniques are not only influenced by Indian and Nepali painting styles, but also deeply influenced by Tang Dynasty painting styles and landscape paintings in the Central Plains, making it unique.

Liu Yang, associate professor at the Art School of Tibet University: Thangka appears mysterious because people don't know enough about it. Thangka is divided into hand-painted and non-hand-painted. Hand-painted thangkas are actually scroll paintings that use natural precious minerals such as agate, coral, and cinnabar as pigments, which are painted on the curtain and mounted with colorful satin. Secular life and other fields, known as the Tibetan cultural encyclopedia.

Liu Yang: Traditional thangkas are the culmination of the entire Tibetan culture, including history, landscape, humanities, Tibetan medicine, astronomy, calendar, etc. As a concrete embodiment of traditional "workmanship" (craftsmanship), they have high artistic appreciation value and Collection value. In 2006, after Thangka was included in China's national intangible cultural heritage list, it was even more sought after by domestic and foreign enthusiasts.

The inheritance of traditional Tibetan thangka art is basically a family, master-apprentice model, and has lasted for thousands of years. Since the end of the last century, Thangka art education has officially entered the classrooms of Tibetan colleges and universities, and has been integrated with the modern education model. Tibet University has become the first university in China to offer Thangka majors, and the training level for students has gradually transitioned from junior college and undergraduate to master and doctoral students.Editor/Ma Xue