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Museum Essay

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Submitted By ttruongg
Words 1063
Pages 5
Thuy Truong – 02390838
Professor Doyle
ARTH 103
November 17, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy
One day when I was wandering around Bowers Museum, I came across nine oversized paintings shown in an exhibition made entirely by one extraordinary 69-year-old Buddhist monk in Nepal named Shashi Dhoj Tulachan, a second generation thangka artist living. The practice of thangka art has been around for centuries and is carried out by highly trained monks for the purpose of teaching about Buddha and the tenets of the Buddhist religion. The paintings attracted me because they were so big and colourful that I had to spend quite some time to fully absorb the beauty of the art. They are not thangka paintings in the traditional sense. Thangkas are usually much smaller and are rolled on canvas so that they can be easily transported and hung anywhere for teaching. All of the thangkas I saw were enormous, comparing to a regularly sized painting. They cover three-fourths the height of the wall and are four or five times wider than a normal human. These paintings also deviate from the rules of thangka art in the use of colours, shape, proportion, characteristics and qualities. The traditional thangka paintings are strictly regulated, while the thangkas shown in Bowers Museum are more free-flowing, giving the artist more room for creativity. Although all nine thangkas share the same size and characteristics, Virupaksa (Dharma King of the West Direction) with 16 attendants painting caught my eyes immediately when I walked into the room, maybe because the main figure in this thangka- Virupaksa has a red face. He is depicted with a wide face, large round eyes, a brown moustache and beard. In this painting, Virupaksa is holding a writhing snake entwined around his upper arm. His left hand is raised holding a pearl shape with a yellow flame extending upward. Adorned with an ornate gold...

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