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12:21 Sep 30 2011

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English>>Tibet Online
Vitalizing Thangka on woodcarving basso-relievo
14:01, September 03, 2010  

Thangka painting and carving are traditional handcrafts in Tibet. However, there has never been a piece of work that can integrate these two art forms perfectly as what are being showcased in the Yongquan woodcarving basso-relievo Thangka Exhibition in the Nurbolingka of Lhasa, capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

A total of 35 masterpieces of woodcarving basso-relievo Thangka carved out of precious wood including ebony, yew and boxwood were displayed on the show. Focused on the Tibetan Buddhism, the works vividly present important figures of Tibetan Buddhism, such as Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, palden lhamo, arhats, etc.

"These amazing works were made by Dong Yongquan, a famous artist from southwest China's Sichuan Province, together with his students. It took them about 20 years to produce these basso-relievo Thangka paintings. They have made 108 works of this kind, but only 35 of them are showed here." said Yudron, a Tibetan girl who works as a guide on the exhibition.

"Besides, Dong Yongquan himself is a devout believer of Buddhism, so he made these works to Buddha as a way of praying, which is also one of the reasons why he could persist on doing this delicate and demanding job for so many years," added Yudron.

There is one piece of work that indicates Dong's own understanding of cultural exchanges between Tibet and inland. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are 16 arhats to safeguard Buddha, whereas there are 18 arhats in inland Buddhism. Therefore, visitors need to count carefully and find out by themselves when they can encounter the arhats'Thangka.

The exhibition will last for 2 months in Norbulingka situated in the western suburb of Lhasa, where lifelike figures will surely impress their visitors and witness a new step forward in the development of Tibet's Thangka.

Source: China Tibet Online


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