Archive for the ‘Mongolia’ Category
Last night was the opening of the new Mongolian art and culture exhibit at Artisphere, called Hamtdaa: Together. The show runs through Sunday, May 1, 2011. Hamtdaa features art from Gankhuyag Natsag, including Mongolian Tsam masks and paintings that blend ancient tradition with modern living. The Mongolian community of Arlington is very tight knit, and credits Natsag for his significant role in the revival of the Tsam tradition. Tsam is “a theatrical art performed by skilled dancers representing characters of holy figures, devils, animals, and people. This ancient religious mask dance reflects both Buddhist teachings and older Shamanistic practices.”
The masks are gorgeous. They’re crafted of paper-mâché and decorated with paint, fur, horse hair, and other materials. In total, there are 108 Tsam masks in the cosmology, representing that many different characters. A special thank you goes out to Lena Shrestha, graduate student at Goucher College, for her informative write-up for Hamtdaa, and also to Harold Anderson, folklorist and professor.
After the cut, photos from the opening reception. The reception also featured Mongolian dances by young members of the local community, who learned the art here in Arlington, Virginia.