How to mount a thangka
Thangka edging is a very complicated process. Qianlong often asked craftsmen to edging in Tibetan style. Nevertheless, there is a slight difference between Tibetan edging in the Qing palace and the Tibetan edging. In the 25th year of Qianlong (1760), the installation process of the palace Thangka Basically fixed:
First, inlay teeth (6 vja-dmar-ser) around the heart of the thangka painting (6 vja-dmar-ser, meaning: red-yellow rainbow, which means that the teeth of the thangka are mainly red and yellow. In fact, the color matching is quite free and not affected by this. Limitations, there are even cases where teeth are not used). There are red and yellow makeup satin teeth, moon white gold five-color teeth, red gold teeth, red, yellow and green foreign brocade teeth, red and yellow gold teeth, red and yellow gold teeth, longevity lantern brocade teeth, and other multi-layer and multi-color, so Tibetan Called the rainbow.
Sometimes a single-layer brocade tooth is also used, called a big tooth, which is a simplified form. The teeth are trimmed on the outside. A small white thread is used to sew the joint between the tooth and the border, and there is also a white thread or a small red and white thread at the outermost side of the border. These two threads have almost become the symbol of the installation of thangka in the palace.
The border is divided into four parts: Tianchi (5 gnam), Diyu (2 sa), left side (4 gyon-pa), and right side (3 g-yas-pa). The edging is equivalent to the mounting work of Handi paintings. The materials used are exquisite. There are red and blue foreign brocade, plain foreign brocade, variegated brocade, passionflower piece gold satin edge, dragon inlaid azurite piece gold edging, woven gold satin, etc. The more important the thangka materials are, the more expensive they are. For thangkas with the meaning of birthday, they are framed with the golden satin edge of the big red cloud and dragon, the stone green satin or the big red longevity satin, to highlight the theme.
Such as the ink carving of the Thangka from the origin of the Sixth Panchen Lama uses this material. In a standard Tibetan Thangka, a piece of cotton satin is sewn in the center of the ground. This piece of cotton satin varies in size, square or long, and has different shapes. It is called 1 thang-sgo (Tangmen) in Tibetan and is a symbolic ornament of Thangka. The Thangka in the palace basically does not use this kind of decoration except that it is specially designed to imitate the Tibetan style. The Tibetan tribute thangkas in the palace often have their old edges removed due to their rough mounting, and then re-mounted with materials from the palace. Therefore, some of the “Fanhua” thangkas in the palace are framed exactly the same as those in the palace.
After the mounting is completed, the reel rod and the frieze rod. In Tibetan, the names of these two poles are the same as thang shing, meaning: Tang wood or Tang pole. However, there is a clear difference between the two from the physical point of view. The reel (10) is mounted on the lower end of the jade, cylindrical, slightly longer than the sides of the Thangka, and the shaft head (11 thang tog). The frieze (9) is mounted on the upper end of the Tianchi and is a wide flat or oblate wood chip. The two ends are flush with the two sides of the Tianchi, or slightly longer. The Tibetan-style method uses leather to wrap the head, which is rarely used in palaces.
The materials used for the thangka scroll poles and frieze poles in the palace are white sandalwood, red sandalwood, fir, etc. The first two materials are the most precious. The shafts are also very exquisite in workmanship, with textures such as copper, silver, red sandalwood, copper-plated gold, and silver-plated gold. As a decoration of the scroll rod, the red sandalwood shaft head is mostly plain mushroom-like; the silver and copper shaft heads are often decorated with engraved flowers or Aoqili (Mongolian “Vajra”) patterns, or inlaid with coral or turquoise. , Small pearls and lapis lazuli for decoration.
There is also a layer of Buddha curtain (thang-vdzar, or translated as: Tang curtain) on the surface of the thangka as the decoration of the thangka. This part is sewn under the lintel of the thangka, it is as long as the roll, and is made of five-color hada or five-color brocade. Tibetan Buddha curtains are mostly composed of two or three stacked one on top of each other. However, the soft and thin Buddha curtains installed in the palace are mostly made of a whole fabric, and rarely are divided into several pieces. Buddha curtain is not only a kind of decoration but also an important part of protecting thangka. On the outside of the Buddha curtain, there are two colored ribbons sewn, hanging down to the winding pole, and the bottom end of which is in the shape of a bird’s beak, so it is called “bya-kha”. It is similar to the “Swallow Swallow” in the frame of Handi paintings.
There are two hooks nailed to the upper end of the frieze bar, each hook with an iron ring, made of pig iron. In the Qing palace, iron and silver bead rings were often used to drive bead rings or iron and silver bead rings, each of which was tied with a flower tape. In addition, there are also cases of Korean paper slips on the circle, and the content is slightly less than the white silk lotus on the back of the thangka. When the thangka is suspended for worship, the two tapes are fastened to each other and used as a lanyard. After the thangka is rolled up, the two flower tapes are used to fasten the thangka, and the length is limited to two turns of the thangka.
The tapes are mostly woven with five-color intertwined coarse hemp thread. They are not easy to loosen after being fastened. They are durable and wearable. In addition, they have a variety of colors and match the colors of the thangka. They have become one of the characteristics of the palace’s thangka. In addition, it is more common to use red ribbons as tapes. The use of thick thread as a lanyard is more common in thangkas donated by Tibet.