HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Thangkas and photographs hung on walls of the ground floor of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, Kamalpokhari, will definitely draw your attention if you are there.
They are the Buddhists art works — brought to Nepal by a team of a Russian delegation from the All-Russia Museum of Decorative-Applied and Folk arts — as part of a travelling exhibition that had been exhibited in India and Bhutan in 2011.
These beautiful creations are on display at the centre from April 26 in the exhibition titled ‘Buddhism in Russia’. The artworks are “high quality state-of-the-art technological reproductions of the 19th century Buddhist artworks, including those from Nicholas II, the last Russian Emperor, 19th century photographs by the Russian Museum of Ethnography, National Museum of the Buryat Republic, National Museum of the Tuva Republic, National Museum of the Kalmykia Republic and the works of contemporary artists,” mentioned the organisers.
One interesting artwork is ‘The Heaven Yurt’ — a large piece of cloth hung in a spherical shape with different designs. One can see the blue upper part that seems like the sky, outline of mountains, rivers, constellations. The piece that seems like a thangka “is representation of a yurt, a traditional house of Mongols and Buryats” reads the text by its side.
You will also find Avalokitesvara thangka — that has a Buddha with numerous hands. The first of hand is folded near the heart, while another hand holds a lotus. The exhibition also has thangkas of White and Green Tara, and Guru Padmasamva’s Refugee Tree, all done by artist Nikolay Dudko.
Besides thangkas, you will find black and white photographs showcasing Buddhist life and culture. In one photo two women are wearing fur hats while in another you can see a group of men and women having tea on the steppes. And these photos are replica of the photos of 19th century. “All these replicas have been created for the exhibition,” informed Arseny Starkov, Programme Coordinator of Russian Centre of Science and Culture further revealing, “This is the first-of-its kind exhibition held in Nepal since the time of the Soviet Union. It means there had been no such exhibition in the last 20 years.”
Also there are colour photographs showcasing monasteries in Russia, monks playing football, lamas walking, et cetera.
Organised by the Centre, the Lumbini Buddhist University, Nepal, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, All-Russian Decorative Art Museum and Russian Museum of Ethnography, the exhibition will got to Thailand after Nepal.
The exhibition is on till May 26 except on weekends.