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Tibet: Mountains and Valleys, Castles and Tents

Royal BC Museum
Victoria BC Apr thru Oct 10, 2005

Teapot, Northeastern Tibet
Teapot, Northeastern Tibet, (c. 1940s) wood burl with brass and copper decoration [The Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria BC through Oct 10]

Tibet: Mountains and Valleys, Castles and Tents makes its Canadian premiere at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria. This travelling exhibit, drawn from the unrivalled Tibetan collection of the Newark Museum, explores the ancient culture of Tibet through artefacts dating back to the 13th century, photographs from the early 1900s and documentary films.

The exhibit explores two ancient ways of life in Tibetan society prior to 1959 – life in the lavish nobility class and the nomadic life close to the harsh land. A particular focus is the influence of the region’s extreme altitudes and barren landscapes on its economic, religious and artistic culture. Historical and archival treasures include both the sumptuous decorated ornaments of the wealthy and the primitive tools and simple vessels of farmers and herders. Reflecting the wealth and sophistication of the nobility, the show features ceremonial containers, jewellery and prayer wheels; luxurious portable shrines carried for devotion and meditation; and precious metal, porcelain and ivory objects imported by wealthy Tibetans from China, India and Nepal. By comparison, the daily utensils of farmers, traders and nomads witness a culture of extended families closely tied to the earth, dependent upon the climate and the changing seasons as they drove their herds to grazing lands.

Information on a speakers series, film schedules, food-tasting events, family activities and adult workshops, including The History and Art of Thangka Painting, can be found on the Royal B.C. Museum’s website.


 Sun, Jun 12, 2005