The research programme “Territories, Communities and Exchanges in the Sino-Tibetan Kham Borderlands (China)” has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, European Research Council (ERC), Support for frontier research (SP2-Ideas), Starting grant n° 283870.

It is hosted by the Centre d'études Himalayennes, at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

For further information and any questions, please contact the Principal Investigator, Stéphane Gros

CEH - UPR 299
7 rue Guy Môquet
94800 Villejuif CEDEX
Tél : 01 49 58 37 36
Fax : 01 49 58 37 28

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Namgyal Lama Kunsang

Postdoctoral Fellow 2014-2016

Kunsang Namgyal-Lama is an art historian. She is particularly interested in the study of Buddhist clay images (mouldings and stampings) which are called tsha tsha in the Tibetan world. Their mass production using moulds is supposed to enable Buddhists—both the clergy and the laity—to generate and to accumulate a lot of merit but also to purify the mind of faults and obscurations that hinder their progress on the path to enlightenment. The work for her thesis using a multidisciplinary approach based on the study of textual sources, a broad census of tsha tsha and field observations has highlighted the all too underestimated contribution, in terms of documentation, that these images offer to the history of Tibetan art; they also shed light on certain aspects regarding religious anthropology, philology or paleography.

A post-doctoral researcher and member of the Kham project (funded by the ERC), she is currently carrying out a study on metalwork and on the associated shaping techniques (especially using the sand casting process) to produce sculptures, liturgical objects, ornaments but also weapons in the ancient kingdom of Derge. This work consists in documenting the features that characterize Khampa metallurgical production (iconography, style, aesthetics and techniques), in understanding how knowledge of arts and crafts is handed down through generations and how these objects circulate and are marketed for example throughout history.

She also lectures in the history of Nepalese and Tibetan art at INALCO (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales).