Tibetan Art

  • by Eric
  • Last Updated: 2020-05-31
The culture and art of Tibet have a long history, strong ethnic and regional characteristics. Tibetan art is closely related to religion. Tibetan Buddhism culture is the main body of Tibetan culture and art. It has been 5,000 years since the origination and development of Tibetan culture and art. The art forms include Tibetan murals and frescos, Thangka, Tibetan Butter Sculpture, Sand Mandalas, and Tibetan Cliff and Rock Carving, etc. Those artistic expression help tourists know more about the mysterious Tibet.

Tibetan wall art is a miracle of Tibetan art, which outlines changes in society on the plateau with crude, simple, and primitive painting methods splendid colors. The murals originated from Tibetan rock paintings, which have a wide range of subjects, including all aspects of production and life. There are also many patterns depicting nature, animals, and plants, such as hunting, grazing, expedition, dancing, etc. As time changes, the form of rock painting gradually developed. Especially after the transfer of Buddhism into Tibet, rock paintings began to transform from cliffs and caves to murals, and the content was closely related to Buddhism.

Tibetan Cliff and Rock Carving are treasures of the ancient Tibetan cultural heritage and an important part of Chinese sculpture art, with a unique style and extensive distribution. Therefore, some people say that Tibet is a stone carvings art gallery and library without walls. The Mani stones scattered throughout Tibet are a concrete manifestation of the evolution of these ancient customs.

Thangka is a unique painting art form of Tibetan culture. Its subject involves history, politics, culture, and various fields of social life. So Tangka could be regarded as the encyclopedia of the Tibetans. As for the content, it's mainly about Tibetan religion, history, culture, art, science, and technology, which embody the faith and wisdom of the Tibetan people and record civilization, history, and development. 

Tibetan Butter Sculpture originated from the Tibetan Bon religion. Artisans put a variety of mineral pigments in the butter, and make it into the base material, at last Knead it into the shapes of various Buddha statues, figures, flowers, trees, birds, and animals manually. Butter Sculpture is the masterpiece of sculptures.

Sand Mandala, which is one of the most unique and exquisite religious art in Tibetan Buddhism. Whenever there is any big Dharma event, the monks in the related monastery would use millions of sands to depict the fantastic Buddhism world, which may take a few days even several months.  From 2,500 years ago, Buddha Sakyamuni started to teach his disciples to make Sand Mandalas. And then this exquisite religious art was inherited in generations. In the 11th century, it spread to Tibet from North India and preserved so far.

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