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26june2011DHASADharamshala- His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa formally opened an exhibition of traditional Tibetan Thangka painting Monday (27th June) at the main Tibetan Temple complex, today in Dharamshala, India. He was accompanied by the minister of the Tibetan department of religion and culture; Tsering Phuntsok, to celebrate the unique paintings by the school of Tsang Menthang - of Tibetan Traditional Arts.

To highlight the beautiful work by the 8 students that graduated from this institution, the revered spiritual leader His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa graced the presence of the rapt audience in the Temple.

He was led around the room of around 37 beautiful, hand painted deities, with the audience of students watching intently. The Karmapa unveiled the exhibition to the public, and blessed the institute.

The Thangka teacher, Buchung Nugbya, introduced Tsang Menthang and His Holiness the Karmapa to the ancient lineage of Tsang Menthang, of Tibetan Traditional Arts.

He also offered two Thangka paintings, one to the Karmapa, and one as a gift to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Tsering Phuntsok presented certificates to the 8 students of the school, who had recently graduated. The two main guests then gave speeches.

Tsering Phuntsok stated to the audience that:

"It's important to keep the good lineage of the skill of Tsang Menthang traditional arts. If we stay in one place like Dharamshala, people will come to us to buy our Thangkas. If we do this only for money, and the skill and quality deteriorates, we may find ourselves going to the market in the future attempting to sell our work, and find nobody wishes to buy this. If the skill and quality remains as good as before, we can stay in one place, and people will come to us, wishing to buy our fine art".

His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, drew upon the need to retain a Tibetan culture in exile, highlighting:

"Usually in a Thanka painting, we only paint Buddha's and other deities. I usually feel that it is important to paint the life story of Tibetan people. We can keep our culture in this manner".

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