Category Archives: Tibet

Paths of the Soul review: Blandly soothing, apolitical Buddhist ‘documentary’ quickly wears thin


Pilgrims on the 1200-mile trek through the Himalayas to Lhasa in Paths of the Soul. Photo: China Lion Entertainment

Sydney Morning Herald
OCTOBER 18 2017
Jake Wilson

PATHS OF THE SOUL ★★
(PG) 120 minutes

If you’ve never pondered the literal meaning of the word “kowtow”, you may have something to learn from the new film by Chinese director Zhang Yang (Shower), which follows a dozen or so Tibetan villagers on a 1200-mile pilgrimage through the Himalayas to Lhasa, as is Buddhist tradition.

This would be an arduous trek under any circumstances but, adding to the challenge, every few steps the pilgrims must drop onto their stomachs and touch their foreheads to the earth.

To protect their bodies, they wear leather aprons and have wooden boards strapped to their hands, generating a noise like the clicking of castanets. In the absence of a conventional score, this becomes central to the film’s soundtrack.

The pilgrims in Paths of the Soul, to protect their bodies, wear leather aprons and have wooden boards strapped to their hands. Photo: China Lion Entertainment
Paths of the Soul is not quite fiction, not quite documentary. Reports indicate that the journey we see is real, and that the non-professional cast members are playing versions of themselves.

But it also appears that Zhang has manipulated events in the manner of a reality TV producer – ensuring, for example, that a pregnant woman (Tsring Chodron​) was part of the group in order to build a sequence around the birth of her child.


Pilgrims on the 1200-mile trek through the Himalayas to Lhasa in Paths of the Soul. Photo: China Lion Entertainment

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Zara Fleming will host a lecture at UTas about Tibet

EXPLORED: Zara Fleming will hold a guest lecture about the history of Tibet and its art and culture at UTas. Picture: Supplied.

@tarliaj14

The Examiner (Tasmania), Tarlia Jordan
28 Apr 2017, 3 p.m.

An international specialist in Buddhist art and culture will host a lecture in Launceston.

Zara Fleming, from the UK, will discuss the development of Tibet from the 6th century right through to the present day.

Fleming has had an interest in Tibet since her seventh birthday.

“My teacher told our class about the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile. Our school then raised funds for Tibetan refugee children. From then on I became fascinated by Tibet,” she said.

Fleming went on to study European art history and Museum’s

“At this time I knew nothing about Asian art and worked in antiques. Aged 21, my grandmother died and left me 200 pounds for travel, so I went overland to Nepal and worked in a school there,” she said.

“I learnt about Tibetan culture, met Tibetans escaping, met the Dalai Lama and when I returned to the UK got a job in the Victoria and Albert Museum, transferring to the Indian department.”

Fleming said Tibet was the biggest change.

“When I first went there it was the Tibet of my dreams, but today Chinese presence is everywhere,” she said.

Locals have been allowed to rebuild some of their monasteries and attend some religious ceremonies, Fleming said. Continue reading

All About Thangkas: Preservation Workshop, May 6, 2017 New York City


All About Thangkas
Workshop in New York City

Date: May 06, 2017
Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Talas, 330 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

Reserve your place in this intensely informative and comprehensive day-long workshop, with keynote presentations, open Q&A during catered lunch, and discussion of thangka examples.

Thangkas present conservators, curators, collectors, and dharma students with a unique challenge in choice of preservation measures and conservation treatment. It is crucial to have background in the techniques of their manufacture and historical use.

“All About Thangkas” presents the entire thangka form, textile and painting components, and details of their creation, use, deterioration and preservation.

Workshop is limited to 20 participants.
To register and for further information:
treasurecaretaker@icloud.com

About the Instructor:
Ann Shaftel saw her first thangka in 1955 during a school trip to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Since 1970 she has been working with thangkas in monasteries, museums, dharma centers and for private collectors. Ann has worked with the Rubin Museum collection, AMNH, UNESCO, Yale University, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Art Institute of Chicago, and many more.

Ann’s current conservation outreach project, http://www.treasurecaretaker.com trains monks and nuns to protect and preserve Buddhist sacred treasures in their own monasteries, with workshops in Bhutan, India and Nepal.

Ann is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation, a Fellow of International Institute for Conservation, Member of Canadian Association of Professional Conservators, ICOM-Canada, and ICOMOS. She trained in conservation at Winterthur/University of Delaware and ICCROM. Ann has an MA in Asian Art History.

Private tours of thangkas at the Rubin Museum and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) on May 4, 5 are offered by arrangement.

 

Jade Buddha Temple shows thangka art

Shanghai Daily, By Bob Yang | March 21, 2017, Tuesday

SHANGHAI’S Jade Buddha Temple yesterday launched a free exhibition of thangka art and traditional Chinese paintings about Buddhism.

About 20 paintings from Tibetan Buddhism master LuoZangDanBa and renowned Buddhism painter Li Tang are being exhibited at the temple through to Sunday.

Visitors would be able to witness the cultural heritages and beauty of Tibetan Buddhism through the exhibition, a temple official said.

As the highlight of the exhibition, six original works of the medieval Tibetan art of thangka — minutely detailed paintings depicting Buddhist deities or symbols — from the master are being showcased.

LuoZangDanBa, who is also a national intangible cultural heritage inheritor, began to study painting in thangka style when he was 5 years old. Li, the other artist of the exhibition, is director of the Buddhism art and culture research center with Peking University.

Visitors can enter the temple via Jiangning Road in Putuo District to view the exhibition. No entrance ticket is required.

[link]

Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea at the Frist

February 10 – May 7, 2017
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee

Jijang Bosal (Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha) and the Kings of Hell, Korea, late 19th or early 20th century, late Joseon Period (1392–1912). Colors and cloth. Newark Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden, 2001, 2001.75.1

Jijang Bosal (Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha) and the Kings of Hell, Korea, late 19th or early 20th century, late Joseon Period (1392–1912). Colors and cloth. Newark Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden, 2001, 2001.75.1

Related Programs
One-Day Educator Workshop: Secrets of Buddhist Art Thu, Feb 16, 2017
Tibet, Japan, and Korea all practice a form of esoteric or “secret” Buddhism. Called Vajrayana Buddhism, this form utilizes works of art that reveal a complex array of both human and divine figures. This exhibition showcases superlative works from the Newark Museum’s first-rate collection and will make its first appearance at the Frist Center, introducing a general audience to the dazzling aesthetics of Buddhist art and providing a basic understanding of these objects’ function within Buddhist practice.

This exhibition was organized by the Newark Museum.

[link]

Metal craft exports up on Chinese demand

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Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 23, 2016- Earnings from the export of metal craft surged almost fourfold in the last seven years as demand for Buddha statues swelled in Tibet and other parts of China.

Export revenues jumped to Rs1.22 billion in the last fiscal year from Rs366.21 million in 2009-10, the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) said.

Shipments of metal items have been increasingly constantly over the years, with exports recording a growth of 12.03 percent in the last fiscal year. Earnings from metal craft now make up 26 percent of the total revenues from handicraft exports.

As per FHAN officials, Tibet and central China are the main markets for Nepali metal craft. Nepal exported metal products worth Rs530 million to China in 2015-16. This amount represents almost half of the total income generated from exports of metal craft worldwide.

Another big market for Nepali metal craft is the US, which imported Rs140 million worth of metal products. Other major buyers of Nepali metal craft are Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Europe.
FHAN Vice-President Kiran Dangol said the rise in demand for Buddha statues mainly from the northern neighbour pushed up exports of metal craft. According to him, full-size Buddha statues made of brass are in high demand. The statues range in size from 1 foot to 1.5 feet tall, Dangol added.

Lalitpur district produces 70-80 percent of Nepal’s total output of metal craft. The products are either shipped directly to
overseas markets or sold to Chinese visitors in Nepal.

Exporter Sabin Kumar Shakya said most of their products were sold to monasteries in Tibet and China. Continue reading

Third China Thangka Art Festival opens in Lhasa

2016091218514690845CCTV.com

09-12-2016 17:58 BJT

This grand exhibition has been a highlight since the first China Thangka Art Festival. In these two-storey Tibetan buildings around the courtyard, there are 11 galleries which display more than 200 Thangka masterpieces, collected from both home and abroad.

“The festival is a grand showcase of Thangka art, and is a great stage for artists. It’s a historic event in the art world of Tibet Autonomous Region and China as a whole. This is the third edition and it has become a great platform for the artists and a calling card for the region,” said Han Shuli, Artists Association of China.

The works were curated from more than a thousand pieces short-listed prior to the exhibition. They are all set to compete for top honors during this exhibition.

Thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton or paper, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala, and has a history of over a thousand years. It is currently on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Organizers want to to raise awareness and preserve Thangka, and the festival aims to systematize resources and promote the art.

“I’m here on vacation. I’ve always intrigued by the unique culture of Tibet and being here at the exhibition is really great!” said a visitor.

“It’s really a privilege to attend this festival. I’m stunned by the exquisite Thangka artworks here. And I hope this festival can become better and better,” said another visitor.

A Thangka painting can be as small as the palm of your hand, or large enough that a mountain is needed to fully showcase it. The world’s largest one is 120 meters long and 85 meters wide. It took 10 masters more than nine years to complete it.

This year’s event runs till October 10th in Lhasa.

[link]