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The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting

On July 15th, we met with an outstanding artist Marian van der Horst – an apprentice of Gega Lama, an illustrious Tibetan artist – who came to visit the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy. Marian works in thangka technique.

The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting
The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting

Thangka is a traditional hieratic painting of Buddha Sakyamuni, Buddhist pantheon figures, symbolic life circles. Creating the Buddhist icons is a really hard process because of many canons one has to follow. Through its composition, shape and color a thangka reveals the main ideas of Buddhism. Creating a thangka is a laborious procedure, requiring a good deal of concentration, therefore it is considered to be a type of meditation. One of the meanings of the word is “message”. The finishing stroke of a thangka is a special mantra in Tibetan written on the back: a sacred utterance that is considered to possess mystical or spiritual efficacy.

The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting
The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting

Marian told the audience about Tibetan writing, which is not merely a set of some symbols, but a reflection of the Tibetan world perception. Writing a phrase in Tibetan, you communicate a sacred message, at the same time describing a definite meaning. The Dutch artist gave a live performance to unveil the mystery of Tibetan writing. As we expect to enrich the museum collection with the art pieces made by a Tibetan calligrapher Tashi Mannox, we will include the knowledge we got into our excursions.

The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting
The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting

The twenty-year experienced Marian van der Horst said one does not have to be a professional painter to create a thangka. “The most important thing is a strong desire to learn and a belief in yourself”, says Marian. This is also applicable to calligraphy, which demands a certain degree of concentration and strength of mind.

The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting
The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting
The Art of Calligraphy and Buddhist Painting

Source: Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy

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Words Of Wisdom
For the largest part ill handwriting in the world is caused by hurry.
(Lewis Carroll)