3502 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Friday, November 4, 2022 | 4:00PM-6:00PM | SOS B40 | FLYER RSVP

Mariachiara Gasparini, University of Oregon
David Pritzker, Pritzker Art Collaborative

Yoonah Hwang, University of Southern California

This workshop aims to reevaluate the role of the Tibetan Empire (also known as Tubo) in the transmission of visual and religious cultures across the Himalayas, Central Asia, and China. Focusing on art as a vehicle of cultural exchange, the speakers will examine a range of artistic media such as painting, metalwork, and textile that developed with great sophistication and prevalence between the 7th and 10th centuries, while considering how specific religious concepts and practices were represented and disseminated through material culture across multiple regions. The workshop will also explore both human (political, military, social, economic) and non-human (climatic and environmental) factors in the development of artistic materials and production methods that took place amid the power struggles between the Tibetans, Iranians, Turks, Arabs, and the Chinese in Medieval Asia.


Tubo Dress Code across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Mariachiara Gasparini, University of Oregon

Textiles and metal objects recently excavated in the western regions of China, belonging to the Tubo people that inhabited and ruled over these areas and across the Himalayas between the 7th and 9th centuries, have revealed a luxurious dress code adapted from imported materials from Central Asia and China. This paper discusses the stylistic and structural features of Tuyuhun-Tubo costumes and textile items which reveal a unique combination of post-Sasanian and Tang aesthetics along southern branches of the Silk Road.

Metal Work and Allegory in the Royal Court of the Tibetan Empire
David Pritzker, Pritzker Art Collaborative

Allegorical narratives imbued with animal and floral motifs were common among metal work made for the royal Tibetan patrons of the Yarlung Dynasty (7th-9th cent.). Animal imagery in Tibetan toreutics conveys motifs and topoi central to the culture’s ideas of power and divinity. This paper will present preliminary theories on the allegories found in Old Tibetan silver and gold, with the hope to provoke further conversation on the rich material culture of the royal court of Tibet as well as the larger world of Silk Road studies in general.

This workshop is part of the Art, Religion, History Collaborative Group sponsored by the USC Office of Research Initiatives and Facilities. It is co-organized by the Department of Art History and East Asian Studies Center in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

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