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Contemporary Tibet in World Museum

26 February 2010 by Lisa

This week we’re looking at a recent aquisition to the World Museum for our 150th anniversary blog series. Here is our Head of Ethnology and Curator of Asia Collections, Emma Martin, to tell us more…


Gold and colourful painting of an antelope

A beautiful example of Tibetan art.

One of World Museum’s first purchases during it’s 150th anniversary is quite an unusual one. World Museum has for many years had a fantastic collection from Tibet, which you can see in the Asia section of the World Cultures gallery.

Most of the objects are 100-200 years old, but in the past month National Museums Liverpool has received funding from Friends of National Museums Liverpool and The Art Fund to buy a group of contemporary Tibetan artworks. This group of 12 artworks is the first to be collected by a museum in the UK and is an interesting new area of collecting for Liverpool.

It’s a really exciting development as we are recognised across the world as having one of the great collections of Tibetan art. Displaying this artwork will give visitors a chance to see a completely different kind of Tibetan art that deals with global issues of cultural identity and the changing society. 
 
The piece you can see here is by a woman artist called Dedron who lives and works in Lhasa. Using traditional paint pigments, she has created a beautiful painting of a injured antelope. Although the antelope is being watch by the vulture and the whole scene looks pretty ominous, Dedron sees it as a sign of rebirth and the beginning of new life and new ideas. As you can see this powerful painting is surrounded by a carved frame in the shape of the Buddha’s head, a sign that the Buddha continues to surround and protect the Tibetan landscape.
 
We hope to have the group of artworks on display in World Museum in a couple of months time, so come along and have a closer look at this beautiful and unique collection.

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