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 website:Tashimannox.com 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.