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Thangka’s Fragile Legacy in the Land of Snows

March 6, 2015 @ 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

$10

Tibetan thangka painting is a distinctive tradition that dates over a thousand years and is recognized by UNESCO as part of its Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Join us for a special glimpse into the extraordinary art of Tibetan thangka painting and its struggle to survive in modern-day with its traditions intact.
$10 suggested donation / Pay what you can. All proceeds benefit the Tibetan Artists Development Society in Labrang.

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Kristel (Tenzin Dolma) Ouwehand grew up in a family of artists in Hamilton, Ontario. She left home at 17, eventually going on to travel to over 40 countries in search of different art styles and experiences. What was supposed to be a 6 month sojourn in India en route to the rest of Asia, turned into a life’s passion for Tibetan art and a deep respect for its culture.

Join us for a special glimpse into the extraordinary art of Tibetan thangka painting and its struggle to survive in modern-day with its traditions intact.

Tibetan thangka painting is a distinctive tradition that dates over a thousand years and is recognized by UNESCO as part of its Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Thangkas are part of the cultural fabric of the Tibetan people, embodying not only their spiritual history, but remaining an integral part of the artistic life of people there today. Increasingly, they are embraced by Buddhists and lay mediation practitioners worldwide. As representations of the enlightened potential inherent in all sentient beings, thangkas are objects of devotion, aids to philosophical and spiritual practice, and bringers of blessings.

From canvas preparation and the drawing of the subject, through to mixing and applying hand-made colours, and mounting the finished work in brocade, the creation of a thangka painting involves knowledge, skill and care at each stage to achieve meticulous detail and exquisite artisanship. Thangkas are traditionally painted with mineral and organic pigments from materials such as coral, agate, sapphire, pearl and gold. Despite their fragile nature, many centuries-old thangkas remain vibrant with colour to this day.

The art of Tibetan thangka-making was traditionally passed down from senior monks to the younger generation, but this precious knowledge and historical skill is at risk of being lost. The growing international popularity of thangkas has also brought the pros and cons of commercialization. Among these, erosion of the rigorous learning process, as well as traditional practices, materials and techniques, is causing a rapid deterioration in the spiritual and artistic quality of many modern thangkas.

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Conserving Knowledge. Preserving Practice.

The Tibetan Artists’ Development Society is part of a conservation effort to capture and disseminate elder knowledge through learning, exchange, and respect for traditional practice. Based in Labrang, the city of one of the largest Tibetan monasteries, the school’s mission is to preserve the ethics and tradition of inherited learning that lies at the heart of Tibetan Buddhist thangka painting and to support the continued development of this vibrant cultural and artistic legacy as a contemporary art form for future generations.

Founder of the Tibetan Artist’s Development Society, a thangka school and forum for exchange, Tenzin Dolma spent 10 years as the sole female in Drepung Gomang monastery (Mundgod, India) learning the sacred arts of butter sculpture, sand mandala, mask making and thangka. Since 2007 she has been living in the Tibetan areas of western China, where she studied with several artists, including Gen Denga from Lhasa and Gen Samten from Labrang. In 2011, she organized the first thangka artists’ conference in Xining, followed by another in Chengdu in 2013. The first cohort of students from the school will be graduating this year.

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All proceeds benefit the Tibetan Artists Development Society in Labrang. Donations support the school’s capital, operating, and scholarship needs.

Snacks and beverages available at Youngplace Coffee Lounge & Pub. Cash bar available.

Details

Date:
March 6, 2015
Time:
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Cost:
$10
Event Categories:
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Website:
http://artinthemargin.eventbrite.ca

Venue

Flex Studio 106
180 Shaw St
Toronto, ON Canada

Organizer

Art in the Margin
Email:
info@artinthemargin.org
Website:
artinthemargin.eventbrite.ca