Monday, May 12, 2014

‘Treasure Caretaker Training’ concludes at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

GANGTOK, 11 May: Five-day “Treasure Caretaker Training”, as part of the culture preservation project organized by Tsurphu Labrang in association with the Kunkyong Charitable Trust, concluded at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology here at Deorali on Saturday.
The project aims to document and preserve the traditional art forms of Buddhist Monasteries in the Himalayas.
The workshop cum training on “preservation and digital documentation of traditional art forms, relics, statues and dance costumes in Buddhist monasteries” was held from 05-10 May. The Treasure Caretaking Training was attended by 40 monks and nuns from 12 different monasteries and nunneries.
The Treasure Caretaking Training was imparted in three phases; education, documentation and conservation stabilization treatment.
The project director, Ann Shaftel of Canada said, “Although Thangkas are the most recognizable Himalayan art-form, statues, dance costumes are also significant”.
The resource persons from Canada highlighted that the training aims to teach the monks from different monasteries how to document and preserve the traditional art forms of Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas. They added that it is crucial to accurately document the artistic treasures of Buddhist Monasteries in a form that can be updated and migrated as technology changes.
Monks and nuns from Bhutan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim participated in the training. The concluding ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Director of NIT and Researchers from NIT.
Khenrab Senge, one of the participants from Lava Monastery thanked the organisers of the training for such a useful programme. “Earlier I was not aware of the importance and value of the art forms in our monasteries, but after attending this training programme I have realized how important it is to digitize traditional art”, he said.
Similarly, Ani Pema Tsultrim from Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh also said that she has realized the importance of documentation of Buddhist art forms. She further stated that she would like to work on digitization and documentation of Buddhist art including the preservation of oral history.
The project is planned in three phases, the first being the week-long workshop on the basic principles of preservation. While the first phase has been funded by Tsurphu Labrang and Kunkyong Charitable Trust, funds for the other two phases are yet to be finalised.
Monks, nuns and caretakers from 15 Buddhist institutes were trained by five conservation experts from United States of America, Canada and India headed by Ann Shaftel.

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