Relocating Art in the Physical World. Tibetan Paintings, Material Objects, and Their Religious and Political Implications.

Relocating Art in the Physical World. Tibetan Paintings, Material Objects, and Their Religious and Political Implications.

Tuesday, January 14th 2020

Relocating Art in the Physical World. Tibetan Paintings, Material Objects, and Their Religious and Political Implications.

Olaf Czaja (EPHE – PSL)

There are a number of academic studies dealing with some aspects of the materiality of artistic expression, especially textiles and fabrics depicted on Tibetan paintings and statues but they are mainly concerned with early examples found at Dunhuang, Alchi and other locations. However, in later periods the relation between artistic depictions and their material reality was still of major importance for Tibetan art, being an essential part of its artistry and its socio-religious meaning. In this talk, I will mainly present paintings showing high Tibetan religious dignitaries and discuss the mode of accenting their socio-religious status by means of sitting mats and seat cushions, covers for throne’s backrests, monastic garments and utensils and so on. In particular, I will examine the famous depictions of the 6th Panchen Lama Lobsang Pelden Yeshe (1738–1780) and the 3rd Changkya Rölpé Dorjé (1717–1786) showing them in Qing court dress. Moreover, I will discuss the ceremonial robe worn by ordained Tibetan monks on special occasions, a feature shared by other Buddhist cultures in Asia, and their artistic expression on Tibetan paintings. In sum, the talk intends to encourage to study visual and material cultures together in order to understand the various semantic levels in Tibetan art.

 

Conference organized by the SEECHAC (European Society for the Study of Central Asian and Himalayan Civilisations).

Thangka of Changkya Khutukhtu