Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Creating black.

"Resplendent" 57x76 cm Chinese ink on Nepalese rag paper. Tashi Mannox 2009

There is a form of traditional Tibetan scroll Thang-ka ཐང་ཀ་ painting, which is applied to a black background, normally for the depiction of the more wrathful deities. A similar technique was also used in creating more elaborate Tibetan manuscripts, as out-lined in a previous blog.

The effect of illuminated imagery from a black base; has given Tashi's creative work a new dimension in the world of Tibetan calligraphy.

The creation for Tashi's black on Black series that features in his calligraphy is a technical affair of old and modern applications.

Technically, the first stage of a 'black' calligraphy is to paint a rubber masking fluid on the paper. Black ink is then applied, the rubber resisting the water based ink.

Once the ink is totally dry, the rubber mask can be carefully peeled away to reveal the clean white of the paper.

Any bright colours can then be painted in the white areas to give an illuminated jewel like brilliance. Other calligraphy is sometimes added with more black ink, giving the signature 'Black on Black' effect. The below image shows additional lettering in gold leaf, this is achieved by first painting a gold size directly onto the black background, then carefully applying Gold leaf.

"Five colored Hum" 57x76 cm, Dutch gold and acrylic paint on a black Chinese background, Nepalese rag paper, as part of the Black on black Tibetan calligraphy series, Tashi Mannox 2009. for a more detailed explanation on the meaning of this piece, including the translation, please visit here.


  1. Great to see you back in action and these video's are fascinating!

  2. You are great.
    Thank you for show =D

  3. Hi Tashi,
    Thanks for sending me to your web site for a look. What gorgeous work! I've spent quite some time absorbing it. Just beautiful.
    best, Annie (woodblock dreams)

  4. Tashi, your work is so incredibly beautiful.
    I am not a buddhist, I just recently began reading about it and find it quite compelling so far - for me it has a positive, motivating outlook, and your art brings that "message" (as I perceive it) across just perfectly.

    Your paintings look so simple at first glance, and as you take the time to take a closer look you can begin to appreciate all the details and effort you put into it! I hope to see some of your work live someday, the vibrance and composition of the color is already fascinating on the screen!