Zen Café is currently exhibiting ‘Tibetan Woodcut Prints‘, a small exhibition consisting of 11 artworks, and visitors can admire them with a cup of tea in this lovely café on Dongping Lu.
In traditional Tibetan art, the artists mostly depict landscapes, traditional decorations and religious scenes. Painted on canvas, colours will typically be very bright, creating a vivid and lively scene.
However, during the 1950’s this traditional painting style entered an era of revolution; many Tibetan artists would move to China where artists studied Western and Soviet models, with the aim of depicting positive and heroic characters... It wasn’t long before the University of Tibet installed a department dedicated to the Fine Arts, teaching these new western painting techniques and pigment styles in addition to traditional Chinese and Tibetan arts. The general ruling opinion was that traditional paintings were unable to address contemporary problems and circumstances in society. Thus, a new form of Tibetan art emerged, less old fashioned and more contemporary, combining religious and authentic scenes with pastoral and impersonal pictures.
Zen Café Story Series on Praying Circumambulation- Yixi Jiayang
Tibetan Opera Lion - Deng Zhu
Holy Mountain Of Mother - Yixi Jiayang Tibetan Decoration Serie N°1- Shangji Zhuoma
The exhibition ‘Tibetan Woodcut Prints’ is a tribute to the traditional “savoir faire” with a modern touch. They call this movement ‘Tibetan Xiangba’, meaning ‘Tibetan wood engraving’. Tibetan Xiangba - or better known as Tibetan Printing - is just like a breath of fresh air to the printing arts; the creators integrate the traditional Tibetan painting style with new and unique elements, revitalising artistic performance and achieving a strong visual impact. It’s a celebration of rediscovering their roots in an authentic way.
Visitors to the exhibition will notice that the main themes like Buddhism and religious symbols are still used as topics, but you will also be able to admire beautiful everyday scenes. Moreover, the use of shining bright colours attest to the need of keeping this tradition alive as a basis to work on, using new visual forms. Tibetan Xiangba creates its own artistic language with a beautiful and deep meaning.
Sutras Debating - Yixi Jiayiang
Peacful Risiman City - Ji Jie
The artists Wang Qingjiu, Yixi Jiayang, Zhaxi Pengcuo, Deng Zhu, Huang Yong and Ji Jie succeed in creating a new style while keeping their country’s traditional themes alive; their works appear pure and unique. One might even assume the artists were speaking a mantra whilst painting, something so very profound and authentic emanates from these canvases.
Every Day Scene
‘Tibetan Woodcut Prints’ will run until the 31st of May at Zen Café on 7 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu.