Connectivity in Diversity
Gabriel Fine Art and MOGE gallery are delighted to present 22 extraordinary pieces of original Buddhist art during London Thangka Exhibition: 1st – 6th December 2015.
The first week of December, we will exhibit 22 original, highest quality Thangkas by five artists from Tibet and Qinghai Province in China. In Buddhism, a Thangka is a painted or embroidered banner which was hung in a monastery or a family altar and carried by lamas in ceremonial processions. The literal translation of the Tibetan word THANG KA means 'recorded message', as the Thangkas communicate a message to the practitioner, used for teaching and and meditation through the visualisation of the deity. It is a medium through which the Buddhist philosophy can be explained.
Our main objective for this exhibition is to, through the ancient Buddhist teachings, bring all people together in peace and harmony despite their religious believes, nationalities and backgrounds in order to celebrate the quality and beauty of Asian art today.
MOGE Gallery is a Shanghai-based art gallery which exhibits contemporary Chinese art worldwide. MOGE, which is supported by its parent company MIE Groups, is involved with international cultural exchanges between China and other countries. The gallery is focused on international collaboration and promotion of excellence in Asian art globally.
Gabriel Fine Art which was established in 2014, is a London-based art gallery situated near the Thames, next door to Lambeth Palace and opposite the Palace of Westminster. in the Victorian Old Paradise Yard, an area frequented by William Blake. The gallery hosts art events, and displays collectable artworks all year round. The gallery aims to promote unification within our modern-day society.
Born in 1968, the Tibetan artist Xiawu Dongzhi’s love for painting came from his artistic family. At the age of 11, Xiawu started learning Thangka art from a local master. What’s more, he also combined the skills from other schools in his particular understanding of Thangka painting skills and processes, including preparation of pigment, composition and his handling of of facial expressions in order to perfect his own. Owing to his great painting skill Xiawu has become a widely acknowledged “Thangka Master”.
Born in 1986, Niangji Xian grew up in a family of Thankga artists in Qinghai, which is also the home of Regong art. His family were the personal Thangka artists of the former Rinpoches. Their Thangka artworks are still being collected by various temples. The artist has also helped with the creation of a number of Thangka with local masters.
Born in 1987 Xiawu Caidan’s birthplace is the home of Tibetan Thangka art. Xiawu started learning Thangka art when he was a child, and is skilled at the painting of pigment Thangka, gold Thankga, red Thangka, and black Thangka.
Xiawu Zhouxian is a member of Qinghai Thangka Artists Association. He gained his painting knowledge and skills from local masters, and went on to develop his own technique of lines, composition and color matching. He has become a widely acknowledged master in this field.
Born in 1989, Wuxiu Me was selected as the Tibetan Young Artist of Excellence. She learned Tibetan embroidery from embroidery masters as a child and is now highly skilled in this field.
Exhibition: 1st-6th December 2015
At Gabriel Fine Art, 20 Carlisle Lane, SE1 7LG
Private Show: Wed 2nd Dec 6-10pm
With a special performance by Luca Stradivari, the last descendant of the famous violin maker
Art Auction: 5th December at Shengyuan Group Estate Development, 35 Millharbour, Canary Wharf, London, E14 9TX , from 4-7pm.
Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
Located on Longwu river in Huangnan, Qinghai, Regong has widely been recognized as the “home of Chinese Thangka”, carrying the meaning of “golden valley” in the Tibetan language. Since centuries ago, 90% of the city’s male citizens inherited the Buddhism painting art practice transmitted from religious temples. As a result, the painting skills of the city’s artists have reached an unparalleled level. A large amount of employed artists by Tulku just came from Regong. And their Thangka artworks have also been collected by all famous temples. Regong art varies in categories, including Thangka, sculpture, embroidery, mural painting, sand painting, etc. Among them, Thangka is highly cherished by the people owning to its distinct folk character, strong religious background, and unique artistic style.
As the most famous painting art form of Tibetan Buddhism, Thangka, the scroll painting which is mounted by colourful satin, grew up during the times of Emperor Gampo. It was said that Emperor Gampo, which is the nirmanakaya of the Avalokiteshvara, drew a white Tara by his nosebleed, which was the first Thangka mounted by Princess Wencheng in Tibet. Nowadays, the themes of Regong’s Thangkas are various, such as Sakyamuni, Avalokiteshvara, Tara, Mañjur, and other guardian Buddhas and Tulkus from different periods.
All the Thangkas that are presented at this London Thangka Exhibition are drawn by the top class of Regong’s Thangka artists. Combined with other outstanding art skills, the Thangka artists’ skill is similar to the traditional Chinese realistic painting characterized by fine brushwork and close attention to detail. Generally, artists use the techniques single-outline flat-colour, heat tinting, colour filling and hooking, to create the composition of the cavalier perspective. Through these skills, artists reach a very high level in painting, and make the views in Thangkas exceptionally vivid.
Compared to those Thangkas from other regions, Regong Thangkas are good at capturing the essence of the Buddha. The Buddhas, Bodhisattva, landscape, flowers, buildings and animals in Thangkas are painted with the utmost detail, vividly and colourfully, especially some exaggerated Tantra Buddhist figures, which have various characters and shapes, such as sitting, dancing, smiling, anger, kindness and ugliness. All these things make Regong Thangkas so beautiful and ever-changing. While those Thangkas from other regions, like Nepalese Thangkas, that have a wide range of themes but are not good at any theme in particular, with poor attention to detail and colour. This is different from the Regong Thangkas, which have a colourful expression, and the details, such as one hair or one whisker, are clear enough to surprise anyone.
After six months of preparation, the Chinese Thangka Exhibition will finally celebrate its opening ceremony in London, which occupies an important strategic position in transmitting Tibetan Buddhism to the west. The show is carried out jointly by Gabriel Fine Art and Shanghai MOGE Gallery with 22 carefully selected Thangkas from Regong, Qinghai. The Thangkas to be shown, all best represent the spirit and core of Chinese Tibetan Buddhism, whilst matching the taste of local citizens as well. Following the just-ended visit of President Xi to England, the Chinese Thangka Exhibition in London practices the Chinese government’s “Belt & Road Strategy” to promote the cultural communication between China and England, and strengthen the two countries’ mutual understanding and trust. Just like the envoy in culture exchange, the splendid Thangkas will again link up the two countries.