Thangka Essay

1744 Words Aug 16th, 2013 7 Pages
Analysis of a Tibetan Thang Ka painting

Religion and philosophical beliefs plays an important role in the arts of ancient Asia. Different parts of Asia have different religions and beliefs. These differences can be seen in the arts of ancient China and ancient India. After reading a book about Tibetan Art and Culture, I was deeply inspired and amazed by a Thangka painting. A Thangka is a Tibetan silk painting with embroidery, usually depicting a Buddhist deity or famous scene. The Thankga is not a flat creation like an oil or acrylic painting. However, it consists of a picture panel, which is painted or embroidered, over which a textile is mounted, and then over which is laid a cover, usually silk. Generally, Thangka last a very long
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The Tibetan Thang Ka however, not only puts its focus on the silhouette of the artwork, but it also emphasizes more on the repetition of a design to form a neat and regular ordered pattern, emphasizing on the overall look of the Thang Ka.

I was attracted by the fresh colours and glamorous decorations from this masterpiece when I was reading “The Story of Thang Ka” (Bu, J:2007: The Collection of 55 Classic Thangkas). However after having read the history of it, I felt as thou I am even more attracted in discovering the story and meanings attached. I want to know what inspired the Tibetans, and how were the tibetans inspired and why the Thang Ka last for centuries.

The true meaning of this Thang Ka which I picked can be analised through the Chenresig himself. He holds a wish-fulfilling jewel” in his hands by his heart in order to help ease sufferings in all corners all over the world. The mini heads that piled up on the main Chenresig are described as the vicious aspects of human being, such as anger, envy, etc. The Chenresig is visualized as a Buddha which assists people in their daily practice of compassion and altruism. The Chenresig fairly and open-heartedly overlooks all beings in this universe without prejudice.

After having thoroughly understood the story of this historical painting, I found that the painting is not just an expression of art with lots of complicated figure, patterns and colours, it

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