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Tibetan Thangka 唐卡exhibit comes to Kunming


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I saw a splendid Tibetan Thangka 唐卡 exhibit a couple days ago when it stopped in Kunming. It had over a hundred paintings and occupied most of the first floor at Kunming's City Museum 昆明市博物馆。As you may know, this is a Tibetan Buddhist art form that originated thousands of years ago as devotional aids. Many are Mandalas and contain figures from Tibetan Buddhist iconography. Some made their way to China via the Silk Road 丝绸之路, and a collection exists in the Mogao Caves 莫高窟 of Dunhuang 敦煌 (Gansu.) 


Some are painted on canvas, others on silk. Often they have a fabric background with wooden dowels at the top and bottom. Quite a few of the ones on display here were simply hung on a wall, though others were framed and behind glass. Every quadrant contained imaginative figures painted in bold colors. The paint must be mixed shortly before use. The figures are usually outlined first and then "colored in." They take months to complete. Several artists often collaborate on one work. Many tell a story that is related to Buddhists scriptures. 


Here's a look: (Click the photos to enlarge them.) 


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1689271241_IMG_20180807_115323-60.thumb.jpg.f771dcf10355e4c98fe9560e17fc128a.jpg   5730466_IMG_20180807_114915-60.thumb.jpg.2a1d0a326e46b03d2be967def14c9ec3.jpg      1365169809_IMG_20180807_115404-60.thumb.jpg.d7d3a94edf79234ff9a79b9d88dba7ba.jpg



If you want to see more of these and learn more about them, you can join a WeChat shared-interest group by scanning the QR code 扫数码 from one of the information tags displayed beside the paintings. Here is the link (in Chinese:) 


1270182703_IMG_20180807_114929-65.thumb.jpg.526e5dc2f64578914f8b27de1b4fe834.jpg         492565522_thangkaqr2small-70.thumb.PNG.3d98474ac2d1cb0de1e157c7b0ea92e8.PNG    



And a couple of references that you might find helpful (in English:)

1. https://www.christies.com/features/Collecting-guide-Teachings-of-the-thangka-7077-1.aspx 

2. http://www.buddhanet.net/thangkas.htm 

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super dope. the imaginative power behind buddhist mythology and iconography is pretty amazing. 


i would love to have had some of these as blacklight posters to get stoned and stare at when I was in college 😂

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I did have them in the 70s, they came printed in black on thickish tissue paper and I spent hours and hours colouring them in, to then hang on the wall and stare at.


I found one the other day folded up in a large book, nearly fell apart as I tried to unfold it, it was a half finished one, so thats probably why I still have it. Might try and find it again and finish it with some of my new alcohol markers I got recently.

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18 hours ago, dtcamero said:

i would love to have had some of these as blacklight posters to get stoned and stare at when I was in college


An artist friend in Canada to whom I sent a whole batch of these photos told me he was sure they were psychedelic. I agree in spades!

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