Opera and Scroll-Painting are among Tibetan cultural treasures the Chinese government is keen to promote. Both have a history of more than a thousand years, and both are now enjoying a revival.
Tibetan Opera has been declared a “living testament to Chinese theater”, and authorities of the Tibet autonomous region are keen to support it. Now, there are more than 130 troupes across the region.
“Summer is the busiest time for our troupe. We usually go to the countryside to perform. There were not even proper stages before. Now, it’s better, and we have a hundred performances every year,” a local resident said.
Thangka scroll painting — traditionally depicting Buddhist themes — has an even longer history. It too is enjoying a revival. The Chinese government has put millions of yuan into the artform’s preservation and development. Artists are funded to create their work and are reaching more people through extensive exhibitions.
Meanwhile, more teaching facilities have been set up to raise another generation of painters.
“When I first started learning Thangka at my uncle’s, there were only 3 students. Now, more and more are joining in and we have more support. Last year, we organized several exhibitions across the country thanks to government funding,” a Thangka artist said.
In total, the government has put some 200 million yuan ($31.28 million) into preserving and developing the region’s traditional culture.