Four Books of Tibetan culture to get national publishing funds

The project of Four Books of Tibetan culture, which cover ancient Tibetan history, the thousand-year-old Thangka art, ancient Tibetan medicine texts and traditional Tibetan decorative patterns, has recently been approved by the National Publishing Fund, China News Service reported.

The Chinese National Publishing Fund is the third special national fund established, following the Chinese National Social Sciences Fund and the Chinese National Natural Sciences Fund.  It mainly finances the major publications of current Chinese ideology and politics, literature and art, and the highest level of scientific and cultural research.

According to the Qinghai Culture, Information and Publication Department, the “Four Books” include Tibetan and Chinese bilingual texts of the “Four Kinds of Ancient Illustrated Handbook of Tibetan Medicine”, the “Complete Collection of Traditional Tibetan Decorative Patterns”, and the Chinese versions of “Sage’s Wedding Banquet” and “Measurement of Thangka”.

Of all the books, the Tibetan and Chinese bilingual version of “Four Kinds of Ancient Illustrated Handbook of Tibetan Medicine” boasts not only the earliest, original and most fundamental illustrated ancient Tibetan herbal medicine book, but also holds a high academic position among Tibetan medicine canons. With the most difficult translation, the classical work is known as an authorized work on Tibetan medicine. The Tibetan-Chinese bilingual version of the “Complete Collection of Traditional Tibetan Decorative Patterns” published by the Qinghai Nationalities Publishing House mainly introduces different Tibetan patterns on religion, architecture and alphabetic letters in various historical periods, displaying Tibetan customs, esthetic interests and religious belief.

The Chinese version of “Sage’s Wedding Banquet” is composed of two parts, the “Tibet in ancient times” and “Karma Kangtsang History”. Covering political economy, history, geography, religion, culture, law, society and other topics in ancient Tibet, it can be regarded as a complete history of ancient Tibet. And the “Measurement of Thangka”, using verbal descriptions as its framework with hand-painted illustrations to show the basic production procedures of Thangka painting, including canvas making, measurement of paintings, outline sketching, color modulation, color shading and so on.