Changing destiny thangka painting gives student her new path

Seqinglamu is a 21 year old woman from a remote part of the Tibetan plateau in Sichuan province in China. Along with other 59 peers, she has recently celebrated their graduation ceremony in Jin Ze Art Center, located in the most modern city in the country, Shanghai, after 8 years of intensive study.

Her graduation work, a piece of Thangka painting illustrating Sakyamuni Buddha stuns professional art collectors. But Seqinglamu refuses going commercial. She wants to go further with her teacher Jianyang Lezhu Rinpoche, who showed her the true value of Thangka.

Seqinglamu’s starting point is quite humble actually, and she has met a lot of obstacles. Born in a poor family of herders in the most remote and under-developed part of China, Seqinglamu’s parents had no hopes for her beyond securing an early marriage, but the young and independent woman had a dream of studying, which she achieved by securing a place at the Rangtang Jonang Intangible Cultural Heritage Center to learn the art of Thangka painting. She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to study the art of Thangka painting. “Although our study of Thangka painting has come to an end, I still want to understand and study Thangka painting more deeply,” she says. “I hope I can help others through painting… I always feel I should work harder because this is my dream.”

Rangtang County is under the administration of the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and the majority of its population is ethnically Tibetan. The area is known for Buddhist architecture, and Thangka painting, whose skills have been passed down by lamas in Buddhist monasteries for around a thousand years and are regarded as of high academic research value. .

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