藏族唐卡 Tibetan Thangka Drawings
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編號: VII - 14
申報地區或單位: 西藏自治區; 四川省甘孜藏族自治州
Inscribed list: National List, First Batch
Inventory no.: VII - 14
Nominating unit(s): Tibet Autonomous Region; Sichuan Province, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
藏族唐卡使用傳統繪畫藝術形式把藏文化元素展現在畫布上。名字由藏文譯名而來, 其中 ”thang-“ 有多種含意，包括「松樹」、伸展及平順之意，亦指其用作繪圖的顏料。它被稱為「藏族百科全書」，主題多環繞佛教神祇和事件。
Tibetan Thangka is a type of Tibetan Buddhist art, done on cotton or silk applique. Thangkas are traditionally mounted on a textile backing similar to the style of Chinese scroll paintings, and thus can be rolled up and stored away when not in use. The subject matter is usually a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala. The name “thangka” is a transliteration of the Tibetan name, in which “thang-” can have multiple meanings, including “pine trees”, “strength” and “smooth-going”, and also referring to the pigment used for the painting. Thangka are nicknamed as “Tibetan encyclopedia” for the rich information they offer in their subject matters.
Thangka paintings developed from traditions of early Buddhist paintings, and reached its pinnacle during the 7th century, the reign of Emperor Songtsen Gampo in the Tibetan Empire. They served multiple purposes, including religious and educational. In Buddhist practices, they could be used as centerpieces during a ritual or ceremony, or a medium through which one can offer prayers, or as a tool for meditation. The portability of the paintings made them popular among monks, and herdsman, as they could easily be transported from place to place, unlike Buddhist statues. By hanging them on the walls of their residence, herdsman could worship their deities and satisfy their religious needs.
In terms of aesthetics, Thangka mainly uses a “scatter perspective,” in which the rules of time and space do not apply—the scroll can be composed of different subjects that occur in different places and times, so as to create a simultaneous sequence. Shades and hues are also used in coloring to depict a vivid and lively character or background.
Thangka is also known for its sophisticated and well-distributed geometrical structure, in which the Yidam (a meditation deity) or main figure will be located at the center, surrounded by deities at the upper section and earthly subjects below the main character. The Thangka painting production is also complicated, with many steps involved. First, artists mark out the main points of the composition, before proceeding to use a charcoal pencil to outline and then sketch the draft. After the outline is fully sketched with an ink pen, colors will be added on to the painting.
Pigments for the paintings are made of natural resources, which includes mineral rocks, plants and even corals. For better preservation, bile extracted from cows will be added as a preservative in the dye. Apart from brightly colored thangka, other types of thangka drawings can also be distinguished by their base colors, cindluing black, gold, and cinnabar. Meanwhile, they also appear in other forms as well, including embroidery, applique and tapestry.
CCTV documentary (Mandarin with Chinese subtitles) on Thangka, outlining the process.
RTHK documentary (Cantonese with Chinese subtitles) introducing Thangka, starting at 16:25.