The Tangka is an iconic Tibetan art. It first appeared about 13 hundred years ago. The paintings on silk serve as teaching tools for Buddhists. Our reporter Han Bin revisited one Tangka artist he met 15 years ago in Lhasa only to find that he has kept the art form’s legacy alive through all these years.
A unique path to enlightenment.
Every morning, Tsenden Namgyal and his students devote themselves to creating Tangkas. These works reflect the painstaking labor of the crafters, and the reverence of their souls for Tibetan Buddhism. The delicate brushwork, vivid characters, and rich, intense colors, all embody the beauty of Tangka art.
"Those who draw Tangkas must believe in Buddhism. Those who do not have part of the Buddha living in them, will not be able to draw the Buddha well." Tseden Namgyal, Tangka Painter said.
Han Bin (R) revisited one Tangka artist he met 15 years ago in Lhasa only to find that he has kept the art form’s legacy alive through all these years.
Tseden says Tangkas deserve their lofty reputation--the works emerge from time-consuming procedures and the skilled use of rare and expensive materials. One such painting could take several months.
We first met Tsenden Namgyal 15 years ago. He was the first Tangka painter to open a shop in Lhasa’s Barkor Street in 1996. He told us that he wanted to see the art form thrive through his efforts.