Women of China
By Zhang Yuan
April 23, 2014
As an inheritor of Regong Art, a mix of religious art by Tibetan and Tu ethnic minorities and local folk arts, Niangben opened a Thangka art exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing, on April, 16. [Women of China/ Zhang Yuan]
As an inheritor of Regong Art, a mix of religious art by Tibetan and Tu ethnic minorities and local folk arts, Niangben opened a Thangka art exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing, on April, 16. As one of the forms of Regong art, Thangka is embroidered or painted on cloth, silk or paper, color scroll paintings, and depict illustrations of Tibetan cultures.
Sixty-five pieces of Thangka, together with the mineral pigment and tools needed to create Thangka art are being exhibited at the museum. Knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism and a field survey of Thangka techniques are also introduced at this exhibition.
Thangka is mainly used by monks to teach the varied life of Buddha, but it also reflects the Tibetan history and ethnic customs. It is rigorous in composition, balanced, well-developed and variable. Thangka paintings are mainly painted with exact color delineation and in the traditional line drawing style.
Regong art also includes clay and wooden sculptures, barbola, color paintings on buildings, patterns, and butter sculptures. Among these, the paintings, sculptures and designs are most famous. As an important genre in Tibetan Buddhism, the art has a history of more than 700 years. It is called “the flower on the Tibetan Plateau” and “a magnificent pearl of Chinese art.”
The Tibetan Thangka was also absorbed into the first list of national intangible cultural heritages in 2006. In 2009, Regong Art including Thangka was presented on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Niangben, 43, started to study Thangka art since 12 and has dedicated himself into the innovation of traditional Thangka art for many years. He has made great contributions to the local cultural industry. With the fund and awards he received from the government, Niangben founded the Regong painting school in Huangnan Tibetan Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province. Niangben has also done a lot to help local impoverished children and orphans.
The exhibition runs from April 16 to May 13. Visitors can enjoy the breath-taking charm of Thangka at the exhibition.
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