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Development of Tibetan studies: Literature and art
    Date:04-22-2011 Source:Xinhuanet Author:    

Research into Tibetan literature and art began with the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1984. It gained momentum in recent years.

    Research into Tibetan literature covers ancient Tibetan classics, folk literature, contemporary literature, and the epic King Gesar. Representative of the research fruit included the History of Tibetan Literature with Ma Xueliang and Chabai Cedain Puncog as the chief editors and Dong Jinhua as the deputy chief editor. The book divides the development of the ancient Tibetan classics into four stages; takes some 30 Tibetan works selected from among the Tibetan literary treasurehouse as the objects for study; probes into the influence of religion on Tibetan literature; and analyses the relations between writers' literature and folk literature. In the research into folk literature, the Folk literature of the Tibetan Race by Dong Jinhua is a representative work. The book comprises six chapters including mythology, folk songs and poems, proverbs and divination words, legends and folk tales, Biography of King Gesar, and Tibetan Opera. Modern Literature of the Tibetan Race by Gen Yuyan displays the outstanding achievements made in studying poems, nowvels, proses, operas, films, ballads, and pop folk songs unique to the Tibetan race. It evaluates authors and their works and comments on the development of modern Tibetan literature in an objective way.

    King Gesar is an epic unique to the Tibetan race, and has been sung in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for over 1,000 years. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to rescuing and researching King Gesar. In 1983, a national group was set up to take charge of the work; in 1993, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences set up the King Gesar Study Center and some provinces and autonomous regions directly under the Central Government followed suit, too. By 1995, a total of 300 volumes of hand-copied or woodblock printed King Gesar in Tibetan were located, and over 5,000 tapes of materials recorded. Thus far, close to 100 volumes of King Gesar, some 20 works on King Gesar, some 20 works on King Gesar, and over 500 investigation reports have been published. Representative of these include A Probe Into the King Gesar by Jamban Gyamco, Epic King Gesar of China's Ethnic minorities by Yang Enhong, and Research Into Heros in the King Gesar by Wu Wei. A Collection of King Gesar has also been published thanks to herculean efforts made. The book takes in articles on King Gesar published in the period from the 1930s to the 1990s. It is the first complete set of documents on research into the King Gesar, filling in the blank of research into the King Gesar.

    Studying Tibetan art used to be concentrated on the Tibetan opera, music, dance, painting and some other major art field. The situation has seen changes over the past 10 years or more. Smooth progress was made to gather materials and compile them into books; efforts to translate and study documents on the traditional Tibetan art theory were crowned with achievements; overseas efforts to study the Tibetan art are attracting an increasing attention of the Chinese scholars who have translated some works by their foreign counterparts into Chinese; and fresh efforts are being made to study the religious art. Many works were produced on the basis of achievements made. They includes the Tibetan Art (by Tibet association for Literature and Art), Fascial Mask Art of Tibet (by Ye Xingsheng), History of Tibetan Music (by Xoikang Soinam Dagyai), General History of Tibetan Dance (by Ngawang Kecun), Tibetan Buddhist Paintings Art of China's Tibet (by Zhang Chaoying), Research Into History of Tibetan Fine Arts (by An Xun), Research Into the Fresco Art of the Palkor Monastery Tibetan Buddhist Art of the Middle Ages (by xiong Wenbin), Ancient Fresco Art of Monasteries in the Tibetan Areas (by Jin Weinu and others), Frescoes of Guge Kingdom in Tibet(by Sun Zhenhua), and Rock Painting Art of Tibet (by the Tibet Cultural Relics Mangagement Committee).

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