Buddhism was introduced into Tibet around the early 7th century and has a history of more than 1,300 years. Tibetan Buddhism inherited not only the characteristics of late Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism, it also incorporated some elements of Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan native customs to gradually develop into the Tibetan Buddhism seen today, carrying strong ethnic colors. This belief is not just limited to Tibetan cultural areas, but also widely affects geographical regions such as Central Asia and South Asia. In fact, it also penetrates into the ruling dynasties in China: Influenced by the Tangut, the Mongols of the Yuan Dynasty had accepted Tibetan Buddhism as their main religious belief. During the Ming Dynasty, several Han Chinese emperors interacted closely with Tibetan Buddhist monks, such as Chengzu and Xuanzong in the early period, and also Xianzong and Wuzong in the middle period. In the Qing Dynasty, the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism became as the common belief sect followed by the people of Manchu, Mongol and Tibet.
Therefore, although the Tibetan Buddhist artifacts of the Qing Dynasty occupy the main part in our museum’s collection, there are also quite a few texts, statues, ritual instruments, etc. from the imperial collections of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties or made by the craftsmen in the court. This exhibition selects artifacts related to Tibetan Buddhism in the National Palace Museum’s collection, such as Buddhist scriptures, statues, thangkas, ritual instruments, etc., so that visitors can appreciate the unique style of Sino-Tibetan Buddhist art.