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First 100 Works of "Hundred Thangka Project" Complete

  • Source : China Tibet Online Author : Time : 09/13/2014 Editor : Tenzin Woebom

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    Thangka painting works from the first 100 works of the "Hundred Thangka Project" themed "Tibet in 60 years after the peaceful liberation". [Photo/China Tibet Online] 



    The first hundred works of the "Hundred Thangka Project" themed "Tibet in 60 years after the peaceful liberation" were released by the regional government in Lhasa, capital city of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, which is a breakthrough in the history of Thangka art and a promotion for the art to go international.


    The project was launched in May 2012 with the first batch of 45 Thangka paintings came out in January this year. Recently another 54 works were shown to public, which marks the completion of first 100 Thangka works of the "Hundred Thangka Project".


    A breakthrough in scale  


    The whole project includes 3 chapters with three stages: the 60th anniversary of Tibet's peaceful liberation, the history of Tibetan civilization, and "Beauty of Tibet" that includes both cultural landscapes and natural scenic spots of the "world roof" or the "third pole".


    As indicated in the name of the project, each part of the three contains 100 works. The whole project is expected to be accomplished in 3 to 5 years.


    In terms of the scale and thematic and geographic coverage, the project is a pioneer and milestone on the history of Thangka art in Tibet.


    For the first stage, over 70 national class Thangka painters and artists have participated with their works, among whom are 19 representative Thangka painters from Tibetan inhabited areas in Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan provinces.


    Innovation in themes: beyond religion  


    According to professionals, this project has made a history not only in scale but also in the overall artistic level, which provides the traditional Tibetan art a great stimulus and modern fresh blood.


    The Thangka painting used to focus on religious themes except a few touching on Tibetan medicine and astronomy, which did not change even after the peaceful liberation in 1951.


    The "Hundred Thangka Project", promoted by the regional government, is a new endeavor to take ordinary people including modern development and daily life as themes and to reflect the real world.


    Professor Xiong Yongsong commented: "Telling stories of modern Tibetan life by way of traditional Thangka painting will have a revolutionary influence on the development of this old art form."


    From a conservative traditional fine art towards a modern art  


    Traditionally, Thangka is a special painting art unique to Tibetan people. Though many boutique works have been left over hundreds and even thousand years, they have been exclusive only to religious function and the painters never left their names on the work.


    That limited the spread of the art and made it confined as traditional fine art and its painters as local folk craftsmen.


    The "Hundred Thangka Project" established rule for the participants to follow modern art competition standards, which includes signature as a necessary part.


    According to source, the project aims to bring about a batch of high-level modern painting boutique of Thangka and highly-accomplished modern Thangka artists.


    "In this way, we could promote the folk art to the altar of modern art all over the world, which will help preserve and develop the Thangka art a lot." Xiong and Li Baozhi, two Thangka masters and teachers, said.


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