Tibet to regulate Thangka market

A system of standards to regulate Tibet’s Thangka market is expected to be put in place within two to three years, China Tibet News reported.

Thangka, along with the butter sculpture and Duixiu (barbola) have been known as “the three pinnacles of Tibetan Art."

When Tibetan ancestors lived a nomadic life early on, they carried Thangka on the way to pay tribute to Buddha. Today in all of the temples of Tibet, beautiful works of Thangka with more than a thousand years of history can be seen. For Buddhists all around the world, Thangka is used as a tool to worship Buddha and other Buddhist practice while for painters,

Thangka is an expression of their artistic inspirations. Therefore, Thangka has become the most distinctive symbol of Tibetan culture.

Over the years, however, the Thangka painting skills among different schools is varied throughout Tibet, and some of the shoddy products are poor in craftsmanship, which can only be sold for low price. In addition, there is no proper market for promotion and trading of Thangka products.

When the First Tibet Thangka Art Expo was held in 2010, artists from around the entire region were invited to paint Thangka on the spot, and their paintings were then displayed at the exhibition. In the meanwhile, a Tibet Thangka painting contest was conducted, from which artists at various levels were selected.

Norbu Tsering, head of the Cultural Industry Division of the Tibetan Culture Department said: "the First Tibet Thangka Art Expo fully demonstrated the time-honored, culturally distinctive and coloreful Thangka art of Tibet, explored its cultural value, and opened a new path for Tibet to develop its industry of Thangka making."

In addition, Tibet also instituted a system of standards for its Thangka market by learning from the experiences of the Thangka markets in other Tibetan-inhabited areas of China. Currently, two national-level cultural industry demonstration bases have been established.