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Charity auction boosts Thang-ga painting school

By Li Xiao
China.org.cn staff reporter

The charity auction includes several Thang-ga paintings as well as woks of calligraphy. [Li Xiao/China.org.cn]
The charity auction includes several Thang-ga paintings as well as woks of calligraphy. [Li Xiao/China.org.cn]

A school teaching traditional Tibetan Thang-ga painting in West China's Qinghai Province is to be expanded with 300,000 yuan (US$45,000) raised at a December 19 charity auction organized by the Beijing Saving Foundation Association (BSFA). 北京四维慈善基金会于1219日举办了一场慈善拍卖会。拍卖所得30万元人民币(约合4.5万美元)全部用于援建位于青海省的一所教授西藏传统画艺“唐卡”的学校。 
The Tibetan word "Thang-ga” refers to silk, satin or cloth scroll paintings depicting Buddhist themes, historical events, folk tales and myths. Thang-ga painters use special pigments made from rare minerals and plants to make bright colors that can last for hundreds of years. Their works are hung in halls and temples and are regarded as devotional objects by Tibetans. “唐卡”在藏语中是指用绸缎或布料所制的卷轴画。唐卡描绘的内容包括了佛教主题、历史事件、民间传说和神话。唐卡画家用稀有的矿物和植物制成特殊的颜料,绘制出色彩鲜艳的图画,历经数百年而不褪色。藏族人将唐卡悬挂在厅里或寺庙中参拜祷告。
It takes a child six to seven years to learn the skills of a Thang-ga painter. The long training period, and the loss of some traditional Thang-ga pigments and painting techniques have threatened the survival of the art form. To protect this unique folk art, a school in Qinghai Province in western China teaches Thang-ga painting techniques to children from poor families free of charge. The project to boost the Longshu Painting Institute is co-sponsored by BSFA and the Qinghai Charitable Association. The aims of the Longshu Institute are to promote culture in poverty-stricken areas, provides a means for people to make a good living, and ensure the art form is passed down from generation to generation. 通常一个孩子要花上67年才能学会整套制作唐卡的技艺。培训时间过长,加上一些传统颜料配方和绘画技巧的遗失,使这种艺术形式的传承面临危机。为了保护这种独特的民间艺术,一所位于青海省的学校开始免费教授来自贫困家庭的孩子画唐卡。“龙树画苑”援建项目是由北京四维慈善基金会和青海省慈善协会共同启动的。建校的目的在于在促进贫困地区的文化推广工作,在为人们提供致富手段的同时,确保唐卡这种艺术形式能够一代代传承下去。
The Longshu Painting Institute was founded by the well-known Thang-ga artists Quzhi and Zhaxijiancuo, both students of Jiumeiquzong, a master painter who served the 9th Panchan Lama. Quzhi recruits students from poor families and gives them elementary lessons and Thang-ga painting lessons free of charge. Sometimes he even pays salaries to the students out of his own pocket to ease the financial burden on their families. The center has trained more than 200 children from local families, 56 of whom have gone on to become Thang-ga painters. Longshu students have participated in a number of national renovation projects, such as the frescoes at Wutai Mountain, the Ta’er Temple and the Labrang Monastery. “龙树画苑”由著名唐卡画家曲智和扎西尖措创办。两位创办者都是九世班禅的画师久美曲宗大师的弟子。曲智从当地贫困家庭招收学生,免费教给他们基础的文化课和绘制唐卡的方法。有时他甚至自掏腰包给学生发工资,缓解他们的家庭经济负担。艺术中心共培养了200多名学生,其中56人已经能够独立制作唐卡。中心的学生参与了很多国家级的修复工程,其中包括五台山、塔尔寺和拉卜楞寺的壁画修复。
To further boost the teaching of Thang-ga, a formal school with more space and better teaching facilities was needed. On December 19, 2009, BSFA held a charity auction of more than 20 paintings in Beijing, including ink paintings by Fu Baoshi (1904-1965), as well as several Thang-ga paintings. Proceeds from the sale will be used to build new facilities and support poor students through their studies. 为了进一步促进唐卡教学,艺术中心需要筹建一所空间更大、教学设施更完备的正规学校。20091219日,北京四维慈善基金会在北京举办了一场慈善拍卖会。20余件拍品中包括了国画大师傅抱石的水墨画和几幅唐卡。拍卖所得将全部用于龙树画苑的教学设施建设和贫困学生的助学。
“This is the second charity auction we’ve held for the Longshu Painting Institute project,” said Eric Wu, of the BSFA. “Many people have donated money for the construction of the school. Others have bid for items on auction. But we still have a 1.6 million yuan shortfall, even after counting the 1 million yuan raised in the first auction.” 北京四维慈善基金会理事吴明远说:“这是我们第二次举办慈善拍卖会,为援建‘龙树画苑’募集资金。很多人为学校的建设捐助钱款,或是在拍卖会上参加竞拍。但是加上第一次拍卖会所得的100万元,目前距离项目预算还有160万元的资金缺口。”
Wu said there a much bigger auction will be held next May and he is confident that by then they will have raised enough money to build the school.


(China.org.cn 李潇 )

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