Lecture: Garu Lobzang Sherap: A Tibetan Painter at the Qing Court
April 9, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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“Garu Lobzang Sherap: A Tibetan Painter at the Qing Court”
Featuring: Tsangwang Gendun Tenpa, Director and Chief Curator of the Chengdu Dargye Himalayan Art and Culture Museum
Moderated by Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Associate Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Drawing on a range of Tibetan and Chinese historical sources, as well as images of several important Tibetan thangka paintings, Gedun Tenpa will discuss the life and artistry of Garu Lobzang Sherap (Sga-ru Blo-bzang-shes-rab), a prominent Tibetan thangka painter from Rebgong with close connections to the Kangxi Emperor (1654-1722). Nestled in the Yellow River Valley region of the Sino-Tibetan frontier in present-day Qinghai Province, Rebgong has long served as a religious and cultural center in the region traditionally known as Amdo. As an influential teacher in the late seventeenth-century, Garu Lobzang Sherap traveled to both Peking and Lhasa to serve as instructor and for the purpose of propagating his painting techniques. His endeavors must be seen in the context of the spread of the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism which was also flourishing in this region at the time. In his case study, the speaker offers evidence for the circulation of material objects and practices vis a vis “knowledge networks” that developed between religious teachers, medical practitioners, and artists based in the Sino-Tibetan frontier and their patrons (and students) both in the Manchu Court and in the Lhasa-based Ganden Phodrang Administration.
About the Speaker:
Tsangwang Gendun Tenpa (Tshangs dbang Dge ’dun bstan pa 苍王•耿登丹巴) is deputy director and chief curator of the Chengdu Dargye Himalayan Art and Culture Museum (Khrun tu’u Hi ma la ya’i rig gnas bshams ston khang 成都大吉喜马拉雅文化艺术博物馆). Trained as a painter, he has been engaged since 2012 in the research of more than three thousand objects in the Dargye Museum. He is author of several publications, including a book-length study of the gzi stone, or Tibetan agate: Gzi dmar: Deng rabs Bod kyi lhug rtsom phyogs sgrig. [Red Agate: A Compilation of Contemporary Tibetan Essays], 2018.