Copyrights reserved worldwide © Steve Nichols, 2011
Over the years I have been compiling many examples of emblematic and mystical visual art designed to “liberate on seeing,” by variously by-passing the everyday mind and making us think about reality in another way. In the Occident this mostly refers to the Emblematic tradition of the Italian (pagan/ Hellenistic) Renaissance. These Emblemata, themselves often direct copies of earlier Ptolemaic art of circa 100 BCE which harkens back to the even more distant Dynastic Egyptian periods, gave rise to the Tarot (Tarrochini cards) with which we are all familiar, see http://88taro.com Alchemical art of Hermetic mages such as Parcelsus provides yet another branch of this same essential project. The http://enochia.net site is a comparison study of Western and Eastern Chakras.
“the Holy Tantra has very great power”
Liberation on Seeing Tsakli images can convey their meanings directly, without the absolute necessity for words. However, similarly to the Western ‘emblematic’ tradition, the mantras, instructions or names recorded on the reverse of the cards can help clarify, and provide extra insights. Translation help is welcome, and I will be posting up a few 100 tsakli texts (example opposite) plus circulating texts to some Tibetan friends and language scholars. They comprise Sanskrit, Tibetan, Uighar and some tribal scripts. Please email me for details of any sets or individual tsaklis using contact form LINKS page .
“If even he, whose sight is far from pure,
The image of Sugata on the wall will see
Some later day millions of Tathāgatas will he meet!”
This article about preserving thangkas also largely applies to cloth tsaklis:
One of the defining technical characteristics of a thangka, its most distinctive feature, is that it is painted on both sides. Thangkas are painted on a canvas support prepared and coated on both sides. Thangkas are rolled, as Chinese and Japanese works often are. The back of a thangka is as carefully prepared as the front, so that consecrated formulas, mantras, and other religious or historical writings can be inscribed on it. Before the 15th century, a pair of presentation frame textiles in cotton or silk was added by a single seam on its upper and its lower borders only, with the sides left unframed. Later thangka mounting included textiles on all four sides of the painting, usually in silk brocade.
All these particularities make restoration and conservation of thangkas a very specific job. Their conception, the place where they were kept and the way they were handled have also to be taken into consideration. Thangkas are exclusively religious works of art, honored in monasteries or private shrines, incessantly rolled and unrolled by the light of the butter lamps - this latter a cause of dirtiness we do not find in the painting of western countries. Many thangkas have been vandalized during the last 50 years as a result of the terrible cultural upheavals in Tibet during the period of the Cultural Revolution. This set of conditions causes specific mechanical wear, and alterations, which will be briefly described in this paper. Link …..