One year after ending an eight-year apprenticeship, Cering Tongdri teaches students how to paint tangka, a style of Tibetan art that involves painting on embroidery, in his own studio.
The 25-year-old Tibetan has an ambitious dream - to become a master of tangka and make his works known to more people both at home and abroad.
Cering Tongdri, a native of Amchok Township in northwest China's Gansu Province, grew up with a love for painting. Although he dropped out in his second year of primary school to help his parents raise cattle, he never gave up his passion for art. When he reached the age of 16, Cering Tongdri was encouraged by his uncle to learn tangka. The plan was supported by the rest of the family.
Cering Tongdri was introduced to Dianzin, a 44-year-old Tibetan tangka master from northwest China's Qinghai Province. Dianzin first learned tangka in his hometown before moving to Xiahe, where he continued to study at the Labrang Monastery, one of the six great temples of the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dianzin set up his own tangka studio and began to recruit apprentices more than 10 years ago. Cering Tongdri was just one of his dozens of pupils.
Tangka paintings developed from mural-style paintings in the seventh century. They often feature strong Buddhist content. The art form is included as part of China's intangible cultural heritage.
"Through government protection, those who have higher education backgrounds have also started to study tangka. The ancient art will have a bright future," said Cering Tongdri.
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