Thangka, "The Walking Temple"of Tibetans
The thangka is a type of paint used by Tibetan Buddhists to meditate, also known as "walking temples" because of the nomadic life of Tibetans and considered one of the best expressions of Tibetan art.
The appearance of the thangka, originally from India, Tibet dates back to the seventh and eighth centuries. The thangkas serve to show the Buddhist theories and is a way of professing Buddhism, represent stories of the lives of saints, religious activities, maintain the iconography of the important figures, to present historical events and traditional culture.
Buddhist monks pray before Buddhas of thangkas for meditation and contemplation do their exercises. For its part, the followers of this religion hang the thangkas at home and make offerings to them.
The thangka is usually done on paper or canvas, sometimes woven into cloth or silk, with a wooden frame.
The fabrics of linen or cotton are the most commonly used in these paintings. Silk is used when it comes to important issues. Before starting the development of a thangka, you have to make some preparations: the edges of the fabric with linen threads are sewn together and hang in a wooden frame; then the fabric is coated with talcum powder mixed with, to smooth glue.
When the fabric dries, the artist made a sketch in charcoal of the images to make and begin its work generally by the central figure and continue with the gods surrounding and landscape and, finally, will color the paint with a brush . Then the painter paint ornaments decorate their silk.
Tibetan Buddhists selected buddhas different schools of religion, which are the most important and largest figure of a thangka. At the top, the figure of the "master" who guides the meditation painted. "Advocates" of Buddhism appear on both sides and the bottom of the painting, to protect the followers of demons.
The primary task of thangka artists is to offer iconographic information. Thangkas are made following rigorous rules that stipulate things as the size of the different types of figures. Few thangkas demonstrate personal vision or creativity of the creator and his painters always remain anonymous.
For thangka painters, often monks, the development of these paintings is a profession. They have to read Buddhist sutras and memorize the details of the figures of the Buddhas. For them painting it is also a contemplative and meditative process.
But there are also non - religious painters who only interested in the technique.
The dyes are very important to create a good thangka. They used colors of gold, silver, precious minerals and vegetable dyes used. But because they are expensive and scarce, now chemical dyes are also used.
The size of the thangkas rotate between a few square centimeters to several square meters, which cost months or years of work to artists. Each year temples show their faithful with a thangka of several square meters outdoors.
As Tibetan temples also have institutes of Tibetan medicine, some thangkas show knowledge of Tibetans on medicine and remedies, as well as their knowledge of the human body, life and death and the relationship between humans and the universe .
Source : www.buddhachannel.tv