Category Archives: Tibet

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.

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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

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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]

BOOK: The Museum on the Roof of the World

9780226213170The Museum on the Roof of the World
ART, POLITICS, AND THE REPRESENTATION OF TIBET
CLARE E. HARRIS
University of California Press
328 pages | 19 color plates, 50 halftones, 1 line drawing | 7 x 10 | © 2012

For millions of people around the world, Tibet is a domain of undisturbed tradition, the Dalai Lama a spiritual guide. By contrast, the Tibet Museum opened in Lhasa by the Chinese in 1999 was designed to reclassify Tibetan objects as cultural relics and the Dalai Lama as obsolete. Suggesting that both these views are suspect, Clare E. Harris argues in The Museum on the Roof of the World that for the past one hundred and fifty years, British and Chinese collectors and curators have tried to convert Tibet itself into a museum, an image some Tibetans have begun to contest. This book is a powerful account of the museums created by, for, or on behalf of Tibetans and the nationalist agendas that have played out in them.

Harris begins with the British public’s first encounter with Tibetan culture in 1854. She then examines the role of imperial collectors and photographers in representations of the region and visits competing museums of Tibet in India and Lhasa. Drawing on fieldwork in Tibetan communities, she also documents the activities of contemporary Tibetan artists as they try to displace the utopian visions of their country prevalent in the West, as well as the negative assessments of their heritage common in China. Illustrated with many previously unpublished images, this book addresses the pressing question of who has the right to represent Tibet in museums and beyond.

CONTENTS

List of Illustrations

Introduction
1 The Tibet Museum in the West
2 The Younghusband Mission and Tibetan Art
3 Picturing Tibet for the Imperial Archive
4 Photography and the Politics of Memory
5 The Tibet Museum in Exile
6 The Tibet Museum in Lhasa
7 The Invention of Tibetan Contemporary Art
8 The Buddha Goes Global

Acknowledgments
A Note on Languages
Notes
References
Index

REVIEWS

Choice
“Oxford anthropologist Harris provides a highly readable discussion of the ways in which political power has shaped perceptions of Tibet and its material culture, and how contemporary Tibetans are appropriating the ‘soft power’ of art as a political tool. . . . Highly recommended.”
ArtAsiaPacific
“Written with elegance, clarity and passionate objectivity . . . Harris takes us from skull drums and thangkas to New Buddhism and the world of contemporary Tibetan artists at home and in exile, explicating the crisis of Tibetan identity and culture. Harris gives us a highly focused contribution to the discourse on the postcolonial world that is also a pleasure to read.”
Asian Ethnologist
“Clare Harris’s works are consistently novel and full of unique ironic twists and marvelous insight, a treat for the world-weary on roads far too traveled. Innovation and creativity are rare in modern Tibet studies, so it is with eager anticipation that one should always approach Harris’s writings. The reader ofThe Museum on the Roof of the World will not be disappointed. She is as magical in this book as reindeer flying through the skies and as entertaining as Santa squeezing through the chimney.”
Numen
“Harris’ account of Tibetan contemporary art is by far the most comprehensive and incisive published to date. . . . The Museum on the Roof of the World is a book that richly rewards the reader, including those who have made it their business to study Tibet, its history, and its culture, with new and fascinating insights.”
newbooks.asia
The Museum on the Roof of the World is a welcome addition to the literature on museums and nationalism, and makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of how the leadership of the modern Chinese state used European imperialist techniques, like building museums, to gain control of the multi-ethnic Qing territories.”
Art Bulletin
“Exceptionally original and superlative in terms of the sheer range of its research materials, the sensitivity of its approach and content, the nuanced style of the writing, and its contributions to various theoretical concerns. . . . Harris’s book is a remarkable work that reveals how one state and its culture can have changing and even multiple identities when placed in different national and political contexts over time.”
Jamyang Norbu, author of Mandala of Sherlock Holmes and Shadow Tibet
“A fascinating study of how Tibet’s art and imagery was pressed into the service of two imperial powers, Britain and Communist China, to provide the rationalizations for their respective ‘missions civilisatrice’ into Tibet—the Younghusband expedition of 1904, and China’s ‘Peaceful Liberation’ of 1950 and ongoing occupation. Clare E. Harris’s instructive art history does not lack in entertaining anecdotes and arcana, of which ‘the Skull of Confucius’ alone is worth the price of the book.”
Robert Linrothe, Northwestern University
The Museum on the Roof of the World overturns old stereotypes, makes new discoveries, and is filled with insights about the many sad ironies in the historical experience of Tibet between the late eighteenth century and the present. Clare E. Harris knows Tibet, its history and culture, contemporary life of Tibetans in exile, and Tibetans still in the Tibet Autonomous Region. She strikes a wonderful balance between generalized observations and detailed explication, successfully documenting the aims of Tibetan museums and revealing the dubious claims of ownership of Tibetan art. Well illustrated and accessible, this book will appeal to audiences in critical museology, Tibetology, history of photography, anthropology, and postcolonial studies.”
Patricia Berger, University of California, Berkeley
“In The Museum on the Roof of the World, Clare E. Harris provides a coherent, wonderfully readable, gripping account of the modern encounter with Tibet, in which she brings together a wealth of detail couched in a rhetorical framework of postcolonialist anthropology and museology. This is an important, original book with a timely focus.”

GYUTO MONKS OF TIBET FEATURING KIM CUNIO & HEATHER LEE – BEYOND KARMA

Website: http://www.newearthrecords.com/

GYUTO MONKS OF TIBET
FEATURING KIM CUNIO & HEATHER LEE
Beyond Karma

The musical album Beyond Karma is a rare mix of sacred sounds from different cultures. The Gyuto Monks of Tibet (the group that ushered in the West’s appreciation and fascination with traditional chant through a series of best-selling albums starting in the late-1960s) are joined by Australia’s finest sacred music duo, Kim Cunio and Heather Lee, on this recording of traditional and newly-composed music from Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The album on New Earth Records was arranged and produced by Dr. Kim Cunio, a renowned musician, musicologist and composer of sacred music, and Australia’s leading interpreter of traditional sacred musical traditions. Heather Lee is a multi-lingual soprano singer. Theirs is a professional and a personal partnership, and their marriage is a celebration of religious diversity including Jewish, Christian and Hindu traditions. With their adopted Indian son Babu (who sings on one piece from this album), they are a model of interfaith marriage. Cunio and Lee are prolific in their explorations of sacred music. For example, they worked together on an historic, audacious and scholarly musical project in 2000 based on the Dead Sea Scrolls when they transcribed the 2000-year-old music of the Baghdadi Jews and merged it with the text of the Scrolls. In addition to the team’s expertise in singing, Cunio plays many traditional instruments, and has had a number of ancient instruments specially reconstructed for specific projects. Continue reading

Guru Dragpo

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“The Artist Project” has a contemporary artist talk about a work of art in the Met. Here, Fred Tomaselli talks about a thangkha of Guru Dragpo.