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Tibet sets standards for Thangka paintings

LHASA, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) — Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region is making standards for Thangka painting — a traditional style of Tibetan Buddhist scroll painting, local authorities said Friday.
Wangchen, director of the institute for standardization under the regional bureau of quality and technical supervision, said that the standards will define Thangka from the aspects of the cloth, pigment, painting skills and so on.
The standards which will be issued in 2017 will include the rating principles for Thangka products, according to Wangchen.
The standards will improve the quality of work and protect painters who follow the traditional craft.
Thangka is a form of silk painting that dates back to the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom (about 629-840). Thangka are always painted with mineral and organic pigments derived from materials such as coral, agate, sapphire, pearl and gold, and the color on the paintings can last for centuries.
Thangka paintings, murals, patchwork crafts and sculptures were listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009.
As a Buddhist art form, Thangka paintings are often hung on the walls of the homes of Tibetan families for worship. Moreover, they are ideal souvenirs for tourists in Tibet or other Tibetan areas.
In recent years, the Thangka market has been thriving. More than 3,000 people are engaged in the industry in Tibet.
“As Thangka become increasingly popular, we should standardize Thangka production and marketing to develop the excellent art,” said Nyima Tsering, an official with the regional culture department.

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