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Thangka painting on display at Shoton Festival

CCTV.com

08-26-2014 00:15 BJT

An ancient Tibetan art form is on display in an exhibition held in Lhasa's Norbulingka Palace. The Thangka Painting Exhibition gathers 126 pieces of art from four major schools. 

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa's Norbulingka Palace. The Thangka Painting Exhibition gathers a total of 126 pieces of art, from four major schools.

Each school employs various techniques. And while the differences between them may seem minor to the uninitiated, the effects on the silk are obvious. 

"Our Miansa school sprays water on the silk before we paint colors on it, while Miantang school painters apply colors directly on dry silk. This extra step makes a lot of difference, because wet silk prevents colors from blending with one another," Thangka painter Gongchog Gal said.

Thangka paintings are among some of the country's first intangible cultural heritage items. The themes of these embroidered silk paintings range widely from history to religion. 

With time, the relationship between schools has gone from territorial to more inclusive. 

"Painting schools used to be regional rivalries. For example, we had to paint about local themes in Lhasa only, not other regions. But now there's nothing wrong learning from each other," Gongchog said.

There are more than 2,000 professional Thangka painters in Tibet Autonomous Region. Their creative output has become popular among tourists and has attracted professional art collectors. The annual exhibition aims to inject new vigor to the ancient art form and encourage artists to keep innovating.

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa's Norbulingka Palace. The Thangka Painting Exhibition gathers a total of 126 pieces of art, from four major schools.

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa's Norbulingka Palace. The Thangka Painting Exhibition gathers a total of 126 pieces of art, from four major schools.

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa's Norbulingka Palace. The Thangka Painting Exhibition gathers a total of 126 pieces of art, from four major schools.

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa

An ancient Tibetan art form was also on display, in an exhibition held in Lhasa's Norbulingka Palace. The Thangka Painting Exhibition gathers a total of 126 pieces of art, from four major schools.

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