BONPO ART FROM OLD TIBET.
From July 8 to 12 October 2015 at the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts.
This summer, the MNAAG invites the public to discover a unique and unknown art of ancient Tibet.
The Good, the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet, contributed to the formation of its singular culture. Pre-existing Buddhism (which enters Tibet in the seventh century) and considered a form of shamanism, the Bon is currently a minority because long supplanted by Buddhism which experienced, in Tibet, a prodigious development. Recognized in 1987 by the XIVth Dalai Lama as the fifth Tibetan religious school (alongside those of Buddhism), his art is still unknown.
The first exhibition devoted to bonpo art only dates back to 2007. Also, the presentation, by the MNAAG, of a set of bonpo banners that has remained unseen until today, is an event. Ten of them recount, in a vivid and picturesque fashion, the episodes of the wonderful life of Tonpa Shenrab, founder of Bon. His legend wants that after his arrival on Earth, embodied in a young prince, married and father of a family, he enters into a renunciation at his 31 years, to live in asceticism and teach his doctrine.
These exceptional pieces, preserved by the MNAAG, allow a first understanding of the iconography of this primitive religion. They were reported by Captain Henri d'Ollone (1868-1945), at the end of the mission he carried out in eastern Tibet in 1907-1908. This part of the world was then still almost inaccessible. Captain d'Ollone recounts his journey in a book entitled The last barbarians
Rare bonpo sculptures from a private collection, photographs and documents accompany this exhibition which contributes to a better knowledge of Tibet.