Author Topic: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored  (Read 24720 times)

Ensapa

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Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« on: August 28, 2012, 05:59:47 AM »
I found this incredible news on how China has commissioned the restoration of the Lama Tsongkhapa statue in Yonghegong. What is more incredible is that the statue will be restored using traditional methods! Have an interesting read of the traditional methods of painting gold on the statue.










Ancients skills are being lost as beauty of cultural artifacts fades away, reports Zhang Yuchen in Beijing.
Liu Yuming, 77, is on the road again, traveling to one of the many Buddhist temples in northern China. One of the few restoration masters in the country, Liu is visiting the temple to help preserve its cultural relics.
He has restored hundreds of cultural artifacts, and worked on pieces in important heritage sites, such as the Summer Palace and the Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing.
"When the master Lama in the Yonghegong Lama Temple wanted to repair its famous Buddha statues more than 10 years ago, I was the only one willing to work on them. No one else wanted to work on such valuable artifacts," Liu said.
It is not only the statues in temples that are in need of care and attention. Half of the nation's 30 million museum items are damaged or their condition is deteriorating, according to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
Yet despite the huge number of cultural relics that need restoration work, there are few qualified restorers and conservation technicians available.
Lack of talent
"Many countries with a rich legacy of cultural relics are already engaging in preventive conservation, but we are still struggling with rescue conservation," said He Haiping, deputy director of restoration and repairing at the Capital Museum in Beijing, "Even though we have made great progress there is still a long way to go."
Restoration only receives about 5 percent of the operating expenses of a museum and nearly half of museums across the country do not have a crew of professional full-time restoration technicians, according to Song Xinchao, vice-director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
Before 2000, the Capital Museum had only four restoration technicians. Today, there are 40. Nationwide there are around 2,000 at 3,415 museums, both private and public, according to the administration.
But among the 2,000 technicians only 300 or 500 can actually do restoration and conservation work, said Zhan Changfa, the director of the restoration and training center at the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage. "There are not that many in the frontline of the profession."
The central government has said it will invest 12 billion yuan ($1.89 billion) on restoring and conserving the nation's cultural relics in 2012, according to Zhan. "But even if the government has the will to spend the money, few museums or cultural organizations can do restoration projects, because there is a lack of people that are capable of doing the work."
Few young people choose restoration work as a profession as it is not a glamorous or high profile career. Restoring a cultural relic attracts less attention than publishing a research paper, said Zhan.
"It's not very often that young people choose restoration work as their first job, never mind as a lifelong career. Every year, about one-third of graduates from the related departments choose other walks of life."
For love not money
The smell of old paper and fermented-flour glue floats in the air of the corridor leading to the painting restoration department on the seventh floor of the Capital Museum.
Five or six young people stand in a room smaller than a volleyball court. Lou Pengzhu, senior master and director of painting restoration at the Capital Museum, sits watching them working.
"Personal interest is the most important thing in this profession," she said. "Young talent with high degrees don't want to do jobs like this,"
Although some young people have great potential there are not enough funds to recruit them officially, which means they can only earn a little more than 1,000 yuan a month as "unofficial employees", according to Lou.
"All of her 14 fellow students intend to work in either private museums or specialist workshops offering restoration services. Restoration work consumes a great deal of time and energy," said Zhang Zhaoxin, an intern at the Capital Museum.
"There are many areas that need to be studied, such as chemistry and the usage of materials. But I do it because I love the work."
Modern conservation
Liu Yuming recalled how delicate and detailed the repair work used to be and the skills of the older generation of craftsmen.
"Now some of our skills seem to have fallen behind other regions," he said.
Traditionally, the skills would have been passed on from the master to the disciple, and for the disciple to become a master craftsman in turn would have required years of experience.
Today's restoration technicians have the help of machines so they don't have to learn through the techniques and skills to the same extent.
"Machines can do better job in grinding the gold foil into even finer gold powder which can make the gold mud glow really beautiful," said Liu.
Restoration work is even becoming high-tech. The Capital Museum, for example, has started employing nanotechnology in a bid to make the restorations last longer.
"But there is still a gap between high technology development and pragmatic use," said Ma Yan, a member of the museum's painting restoration department.

brian

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2012, 05:08:24 PM »
It was nice to learn that China has made attempts to made restoration works on Yonghegong. It is a clear that China is making efforts to promote Lama Tsongkhapa and understand its importants to promote Lama Tsongkhapa teachings to the public.

Not only that, the very significant fact that they also realised that there are a lot of tourists who flocks into Yonghegong so it is only sensible to make restoration works into this legendary temple, which has become a must visit place for Tibetan Buddhism practitioners.

Galen

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2012, 06:45:14 PM »
Yong He Gong is evidence that Tibetan Buddhism existed in China and practiced by the Chinese emperors. The Chinese government is not covering up on their past and is encouraging the growth of Buddhism in China. Even before this restoration, the government has done a good job is preserving this historic temple.

I have been there a few times and the place is immaculately kept and there are lots of tourist visiting the place. I rejoice of this news of this restoration of Lama Tsongkapa statue which is so majestic. And only the best materials are used to ensure it it back to it's former glory.

May more and more people be touched by Lama Tsongkapa, those in China and also others. And more dharma seeds can be implanted into the minds of those who sees the face of Lama Tsongkapa and when the time is right, their karma would open and practice dharma.

bambi

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 04:59:07 AM »
It is truly amazing to know that people are doing just work and call it a profession. What is more beautiful than doing such a Holy 'work'? All the procedures to restore something that will benefit so many people and collect merits at the same time.

"Furthermore, Ksitigarbha, in the future, these [aforementioned blessed people from] kings to Brahmans may come across Buddhist monasteries, stupas, or statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Arahats, or Pratyeka-Buddhas.  If they personally and respectfully make offerings and give alms [to these statues, monasteries, etc], then these kings and other [blessed people] shall [attain the karmic fruitions of] becoming Sakra for three kalpas and receive great blessings.  They shall [attain the karmic fruition of] becoming the Great Brahma if they dedicate the merits [from their act of devotion] to the Dharmadhatu (the dharma realm which encompasses everything past, present, and future, including phenomenon undefinable within confines of space and time).

"Additionally, Ksitigarbha, in the future, these [aforementioned blessed people from] kings to Brahmans may encounter old Buddhist monasteries, Buddhist stupas, Buddha statues and sutras that had been severely damaged.  These kings and others may resolve to restore these monasteries, stupas, etc.  They may personally finance and manage the restoration, or persuade others to make charitable donation to finance or participate in the restoration.  [It does not matter] how many people were persuaded to join the effort, be it one or hundreds or thousands who make donations and create karmic affinities.  In the future hundreds and thousands of rebirths, everyone who initiated the restoration, from the kings to the Brahmans, shall become Chakravartins (Universal Kings who spread the Buddha-Dharma).  Those who are persuaded to participate or make donation shall often be reborn as kings of small countries for hundreds of thousands of lives.  If [at the conclusion of repair and restoration,] these kings and other participants of the restoration dedicate these merits to the Dharmadhatu in front of these stupas and monasteries, then these kings and others shall all attain Buddha-hood.  The [rewards from the] fruition of these acts are boundless and immeasurable."

hope rainbow

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 08:10:16 AM »
I was lucky enough to see this statue a few years ago, and it is wonderful news that it is being restored!
I have attached some more pictures here below.




ratanasutra

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 05:21:41 PM »
I'm glad to read this article that the lama Tsongkhapa in Yonhegond restored. And the people in new generation will have chance to come pray to the holy Lama Tsongkhapa statue and preserve it till next and next generation..

The YongHeGong Lama Temple (YongHe Temple), also known as the 'Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple', is a temple and monastery of the Geluk (Yellow Hat) School of Tibetan Buddhism located in the northeastern central part of Beijing, next to the subway station of the same name.

YongHeGong is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of YongHeGong combine Han Chinese and Tibetan styles (and some Mongolian motifs).

History of YongHeGong Lama Temple
Building work on the YongHeGong Temple started in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. It originally served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was then converted into the court of Prince YongZheng (Yin Zhen), a son of emperor KangXi. After YongZheng's ascension to the throne in 1722, half of the building was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism, while the other half remained an imperial palace.

After YongZheng's death in 1735, his coffin was placed in the temple for mourners. YongZheng's successor, emperor QianLong, gave the temple imperial status. This was signified by having its turquoise tiles replaced with the yellow tiles that were reserved for the emperor. Subsequently (1744), the monastery became a lamasery and a residence for large numbers of Tibetan Buddhist monks from Mongolia and Tibet. The YongHeGong Lamasery became the national centre of Lama administration.

YongHeGong is said to have survived the Cultural Revolution due to the intervention of prime minister Zhou Enlai.

RedLantern

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 05:27:15 PM »
Yonghegong,better known as the Lama Temple ,is more interesting to visit.It is the largest and most perfectly preserved lamasery in China.Built initially in 1614 during the Qing dynasty,this building was the residence of Emperor YongZheng when he was just a prince.
However in 1944 the Qing Dynasty formally changed the status of the dwelling to that of a lamasery and so Yonghe Lamasery became the national center of lama administration.Lama Temple features 5 large halls and 5 courtyards with beautiful decorative archways,upturned caves and carved details.It houses a a treasury of Buddha's art including sculptured image of gods,demons and buddhas as well as Tibetan-style murals.
Due to it's beautiful restoration work and efforts made to promote Lama Tsongkapa,many tourists flock into Yonghegong.

Barzin

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 05:29:57 PM »
It is so nice to read this post.  It is nice to know that Buddhism is all over the world even Tsongkhapa's time has already flourished into Chinese country!  It is once again proven that how noble and important Tsongkhapa's teaching is and how lucky we are to be able to receive his authentic practice today!!!  Wonderful news on the restoration, i am glad that people still recognize its existence and maintained these holy sites so that many of the future generation can visit such a remarkable historical place. 

It is kind of ironic that on one hand the Chinese seems so against Tibetan Buddhism whom represented by His Holiness but on the other hand, you can see sight like this and Shugden practice is growing?  I guess afterall Buddhism is in the Chinese's blood.  I wish the ban quickly removed and together the world unite for peace and harmony very soon...

Midakpa

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 06:12:36 PM »
This is really good news. Restoring and repainting the Lama Tsongkhapa statue in Yonghegong will boost the image of the Chinese Government besides bringing in the tourist dollar. It is good that the Chinese are making the effort to learn the traditional method to apply the gold paint. It is hoped that they will continue to use this method to restore other important gold statues in the country. The Chinese are good craftsmen and restoring Buddhist temples, stupas and statues will bring good karma to the nation as a whole.

Rihanna

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 05:51:23 AM »
Yong He Gong is evidence that Tibetan Buddhism existed in China and practiced by the Chinese emperors. The Chinese government is not covering up on their past and is encouraging the growth of Buddhism in China. Even before this restoration, the government has done a good job is preserving this historic temple.

I have been there a few times and the place is immaculately kept and there are lots of tourist visiting the place. I rejoice of this news of this restoration of Lama Tsongkapa statue which is so majestic. And only the best materials are used to ensure it it back to it's former glory.

May more and more people be touched by Lama Tsongkapa, those in China and also others. And more dharma seeds can be implanted into the minds of those who sees the face of Lama Tsongkapa and when the time is right, their karma would open and practice dharma.

[The Chinese government is raking in tons of tourists money. They are restoring Tsongkhapa statue in Yonghegong not as an offering but to attract tourists. I find it ridiculous that tourists are not allowed to take photo of such a holy image. Wouldn't anyone like to take home with them a holy memorabilia to put on their altar to make offerings? The whole temple is so cold, no pujas, no monks studying. It has turned into another tourist spot. This restoration is just another publicity scam to try to fool the world how liberal they are in religion.]

so_003

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 07:17:17 AM »
Dear Ensapa,

Thank you for sharing such good news. Also the info of how the statue are being restore. It is a great joy to see such work are done to renew/repair the statue. This type of skills are almost fading out as these days everything are machine made. Such skill work are very rare but not impossible. I'm very lucky to have seen people doing such painting on statue and also thanka.

I personally have not been to YHG Temple but hopefully in the near future i'm able to visit.



Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 05:22:52 AM »
Wow, amazing to look at the amount of work done to restore the Lama Tsongkapa statue in Yonghegong temple.

I have been fortunate to have visited this temple a few times.  According to the tourist guide, Yonghegong is also known as the Lama Temple.

Kim Hyun Jae

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2015, 12:25:57 PM »
I visited Yonghe Gong in Beijing, China twice. I am still amazed with Lama Tsongkhapa carved from a single tree from hard wood. The size of the statue is huge and well blessed. The residing monks has a schedule to hold weekly pujas so the locals can attend. Yonghe Gong Temple is very popular with locals as well as tourists from all over the world.

The best part of this place is also the small museum behind the main temple of Lama Tsongkhapa which housed many smaller statues given either gifts to the Emperor at that time. One of these statues is a huge Vajrayogini, which was spectacular. This is a must see.

MoMo

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2015, 02:18:07 PM »
For the past 13 years I have been working in China and many times staying for months in Beijing  but it has never occur to me that there is a place called “yonghegong”, the house of largest Tsongkhapa statue that patron by the Chinese emperor himself. It was only through my Guru and my good karma manifesting that I realised the reality of Tsongkhapa’s practice that one could be so near to it and yet completely missed it. By knowing it now the next chance that if even happen that I could be in Beijing again instead of the flowers and birds markets, this will be my top priority to view with my own eyes the gigantic Tsongkhapa statue .

yontenjamyang

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Re: Tsongkhapa in Yonghegong, restored
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 07:11:15 AM »
For the past 13 years I have been working in China and many times staying for months in Beijing  but it has never occur to me that there is a place called “yonghegong”, the house of largest Tsongkhapa statue that patron by the Chinese emperor himself. It was only through my Guru and my good karma manifesting that I realised the reality of Tsongkhapa’s practice that one could be so near to it and yet completely missed it. By knowing it now the next chance that if even happen that I could be in Beijing again instead of the flowers and birds markets, this will be my top priority to view with my own eyes the gigantic Tsongkhapa statue .

On the contrary I had the good merits to have visited Yonghegong a few years back and made prayers and circumambulations around the great Lama Tsongkhapa statue. As it is indoor, very tall and in confined space; I can't really see the top of the statue clearly like on the picture above.
Nevertheless I felt that the people in China has tremendous merits to have a large Lama Tsongkhapa statue and am surprised too that there are many people making prayers in the traditional Chinese way like offering red chinese style incense sticks.
I also went to the museum in Yonghegong and there were many artifacts of the Qing era ie statues, thangka and implements of Tibetan Buddhism. I also realise that the Chinese treated the Han, the Manchus, the Mongols and the Tibetans as "Chinese" with very little differentiation. That is what I observed.