Tibetan mural paintings from 13th-15th centuries on show
An exhibition in Shanghai is showcasing replicas of mural paintings in the Sakya, Shalu and Palcho monasteries between the 13th and 15th centuries in the Xigaze area of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Sakya is one of Tibet's four major Buddhism schools, and the monastery's library is considered one of Tibet's cultural treasures. Shalu is renowned as a center of scholarly learning and psychic training, and its mural paintings are considered the oldest and most beautiful in Tibet. The primary reason for Palcho's popularity is the melding of Han, Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist architecture.
Mural paintings of the 13th to 15th centuries have been rarely found in Tibet. The mural paintings from the Tibetan monasteries are well preserved with clear details. There are artistic elements from Nepal, reflecting a time when Buddhism spread to Tibet before mixing with Chinese culture.
Following the timeline of Tibet's great Buddhism revival, visitors learn how Tibetan artists matured and developed a new approach to making art via close communication with Han artisans.
In addition, three interactive installations derived from the ancient mural paintings are on display on the museum's second floor, offering a multidimensional way to watch and understand Tibetan culture.
There is also a workshop for those who are interested to get some hands-on experience. The mural painting "520," pieced together from multiple sheets of paper to form a complete portrait of Bodhisattva Tara, resembles puzzles that invite speculation about their creation.
Date: Through May 22 (closed on Mondays), 9am-5pm
Venue: Xuhui Art Museum
Address: 1413 Huaihai Road M.
Guided tours are available at 1:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.