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10:47 Mar 19 2010

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A colorful discussion of Tangka painters (2)
10:46, March 19, 2010  

Color philosophy

Professor Ngawang Jigme is the manager of the Tibetan traditional pigments research office in Tibet University. According to him, the most magical thing is that all the pigments of Tangka are natural. They are mainly made from malachite, mica, vermilion, iron pyrites, limonite, kaolin, azurite, orpiment, realgar, porcelain clay, and cyanine.

A high-standard Tangka would include more than 30 colors, and some even consist of 50 colors. Among all the colors, white, yellow, red and blue are four basic ones. Sometimes, painters would also consider green as the basic color.

In fact, the formulas of distilling pigments are not unchanged. For example, different shades of yellow can be distilled from both orpiment and realgar. It all depends on the painter's experience when deciding what kind of yellow they would get finally. Of course, the proportion formula for mixing these colors are kept secret and it has become a kind of "mysterious language," which is passed from generation to generation.

These are the painters' color philosophy.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】

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