|Aug.16, 2016 -- An exhibition of both traditional and modern-style mandala paintings opened in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, over the weekend.
The "Heart Mandala" exhibition features the work of 14 artists, including two foreigners.
A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in many Dharmic religions, composed of concentric circles and squares representing the universe. In Tibetan Buddhism, it symbolizes the realm of full enlightenment.
"Many people are interested in Tibetan art, especially mandala paintings. We want to show the vigor and vitality of modern Tibetan art, as the artists in the exhibition include Tibetan, Han, and foreigners," said Sheng Liyu, co-founder of Tihho.com, a culture advocacy company that is hosting the exhibition.
The ages of the participating artists vary from 9 to 50, and the paintings on show at the exhibition are split into five categories, from traditional Thangka to Chinese painting.
Gade, one of the artists taking part, said his work is a mandala of the sun, formed using different kinds of prayer beads.
It took the 45-year-old and two of his friends two months to create the artwork, which also incorporates an ice sculpture of the Buddha that is placed in the center, atop the work.
"The ice will melt slowly, represents the changeable laws of the world," he said.
Norbu Tsering, a Tibetan artist, contributed an oil painting of a mandala that he created in 2003.
"I am happy to see different kinds of mandala paintings displayed in the gallery, and I hope more people will become interested in Tibetan modern art," said the 53-year-old.
Drubchok, 26, an artist from Tibet’s Nagqu prefecture, worked for six months on his mandala, called "The Eighteen Disciples of the Buddha".
It is a Thankga painting, with innovative touches such as plants and animals around its edge.
Among the visitors on the first day of the exhibition was Peyang, a Tibetan student from Peking University.
"I had only seen mandala painted as Thangka in the past. This is my first time to see mandala manifested in so many ways," he said.
The Heart Mandala exhibition continues until Sept 4.