Contemporary Culture & Heritage Preservation

  • Dancing on Mud

    The rafters and joists were covered with twigs and mud. According to local tradition, the mud is then condensed with dancing.

  • A mural of Gur Gönpo in the Galingteng Gönkhang before restoration

    Waking the Gods

    In the dark, all that can be seen are the whites of their eyes.

  • The Thousand Phurba Holders

    Humchen Chenaktsang explains how the ngakpas, lay practitioners of the "fierce mantras," of Repgong, on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau came to be known as the Thou

  • the central latse in the Tibetan community of Dungnak Tsowa (Qifeng), in Sunan County, Gansu

    The Latse Festival of Dungnak Tsowa

    The practice of making offerings to the mountain gods is a critical element of Tibetan historical memory and cultural identity.

  • A photograph taken by a student in Rabsal's middle school photography training courses

    Behind the Lens

    As the winter cold started to set in, teachers at Sichuan Province Tibetan School in Dartsemdo town, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture called a special meeting to speak

  • Bearers of the Tradition

    It was shocking. The enormous face of a young Tibetan boy stared, confrontational, through an ancient doorway in a white-washed wall in Lhasa’s historic Barkhor district.

Situated between the Indian subcontinent to the south and west, the oasis societies of Central Asia to the north, and Greater China to the east, the Tibetan Plateau is home to a unique culture, with distinctive technologies and traditions that have allowed Tibetan communities to thrive for centuries amid some of the harshest conditions on earth.

Contemporary Culture

Trace Foundation provides support for projects in all the fine arts including painting, sculpture, calligraphy, music, dance, theater, design, architecture, film, and photography. In particular, we are interested in open-source projects that can be made universally accessible online and directly benefit communities on the Plateau. Proposals should be for original works in Tibetan-language or otherwise derived from Tibetan traditions.

Heritage Preservation

The Tibetan Plateau has undergone dramatic changes in the past half century. Following the ravages of the Cultural Revolution, a new focus on economic growth throughout the PRC has ushered in a period of rapid modernization and tighter integration with the rest of the country. While the drive has brought large-scale investment to the region, it has had a profound effect on the traditional culture of the Tibetan Plateau.

To preserve the legacy of traditional Tibetan culture and ensure its continuity, Trace Foundation provides support to document traditional culture, restore historic buildings, digitize rare manuscripts, and more.