News

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The International Journal of Wood Culture ( IJWC) , September 2021 published an article by Mechtild Mertz about “Wood identification od Ancient Temple Structures in Ladakh, Located in the Western Himalayas”.

To read the article visit the following site: https://brill.com/view/journals/ijwc/ijwc-overview.xml?language=en
August 25th to 28th there was a 3 day workshop organized by the Ministry of Tourism, GOI and Union Territory of Ladakh’s Department of Tourism. Held at the Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra, Leh at the Tisuru vicinity, Urtung Upper Leh, Yutaka Hirako was invited to attend the workshop and to join the field visit. During the field visit Yutaka thanked the Finland Embassy for their past support.
Yutaka Hirako was invited to give a talk on August 4th to the Naropa Institute’s 55 fellows (from across India, Nepal, Bhutan and Nigeria). They were taking part in a one-year residential, post-graduate programme in Ladakh, designed to build entrepreneurial leadership in the Himalayan region. Yutaka took the fellows through the 25 years work of THF and introduced THF conservation practices and there continuity to conserve architecture and cultural heritage in the Himalaya.
On 15 July, Yutaka Hirako, Stanzin Dolker and Sonam Gyatso attended a workshop on “Ease of living index and Municipality index” organized by LEDeG. The workshop is part of LEDeG’s mission statement 'Liveable Ladakh', which discusses urban reforms under the Government of India’s 'Smart Cities Mission' program. The workshop took place in the Dragon Hotel, Leh
Yutaka presenting THF/LOTI work in LadakhThe Social Welfare Secretary of the Ladakh Union Territory Administration held a virtual meeting with the NGOs of Leh District on the 15 of June 2021 to discuss Civil Society and its Role in Social Welfare. Tibet Heritage Fund represented by Yutaka Hirako was among 23 NGOs and organisations invited to present their work to the Social Welfare Secretary Ms. Padma Angmo and other officers of the administration.
On June 10th Pimpim de Azevedo was invited to give a talk” Conserving the Architectural Heritage of High Asia - 25 Years of the Tibet Heritage Fund” at the Royal Asiatic Society of Hong Kong. In this talk, she walked the audience through THF’s conservation work in Asia specially in Tibet and Himalayas. This year THF celebrates 25 years. The audience was engaged and asked many questions.
On the 5th day of Saga Dawa (16 May 2021), Karmo Tsering (Yutaka’s close friend) gave birth to four magnificent kittens, one yellow and three white: Oser, Sherab, Phamo and Jigmet.
Politecnico di Torino - Rehabilitation of traditional heritage and local development 3.0On May 7th, Tibet Heritage Fund’s Yutaka Hirako and Pimpim de Azevedo were invited by Politecnico di Torino to participate in the third international seminar “Rehabilitation of traditional heritage and local development 3.0”. They co-presented ‘25 Years of Cultural Heritage Conservation Practice’ and took part on the round table discussion.
Orientations Art Circle / Asia Society Lecture Series On 29th of April 2021 Pimpim de Azevedo was invited to talk at the Orientations Art Circle / Asia Society Lecture Series - ‘[Webcast Only] Preserving Nyarma, a Buddhist Monastery Complex in Ladakh’. The talk was moderated by Yifawn Lee, the publisher and editor of Orientations.
Orientations - 12th Century Stupas at Nyarma Ladakh’12th Century Stupas at Nyarma Ladakh’, an article by Roberto Vitali, Yutaka Hirako and Pimpim de Azevedo was published in ORIENTATIONS magazine May - June 2021. The article discusses three stupas on the site of Nyarma that are “specimens of a final adoption stage of the Kashmiri idiom with features that are slightly less canonical in terms of style".(see article)
9:53 am, 28 Jun 2021
Second Ladakh Winter Conclave 2021THF/LOTI’s Yutaka Hirako was invited to talk at the second Ladakh Winter Conclave, held in Leh from the 21st to 23rd February 2021. The themes explored this year were Adventure Tourism, Culture & Heritage, and Post Covid Revival of Tourism.
On the new moon day of the lunar calendar, Yutaka’s dream bike arrived in Leh!! His new trip machine is a Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 model, which is designed as Adventure Touring Bike in a conception of “Built for all roads, Built for no roads”. This is a perfect motorbike for Yutaka who loves riding in the great nature of the Himalaya! He will search for hidden ancient buildings and discover the wonderful nature of Ladakh.
Our efforts were finally reflected in the government policy!!! THF/LOTI has been proposing setting up a "Ladakh Tangible Cultural Heritage Fund" and the nomination of "protected historic building and monuments", in order to have legal protection over the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh and make funds available for effective protection. Today, November 29, 2020 the Ladakh UT administration included it as a Tourism Incentive Policy, this is the first step towards a cultural heritage conservation policy and a great step to begin a new era for the preservation of Ladakh’s cultural heritage. There is still a long way to go ahead, but with this amazing step we have begun!
https://mobile.twitter.com/InformationDep4/status/1333043409846636544/photo/3
The pandemic of covid-19 has now spread throughout the world, Leh was no exception, and has affected the lifestyle of the people in this small Himalayan town. THF’s Yutaka Hirako was also stranded in Ladakh but he managed to operate the conservation projects for the 2020 season. Due to restrictions of movement, we have also had to work with limited numbers of the local Ladakhi artisans. We followed the government guidelines in preventing the virus infection; frequent hand washing, maintaining social distance and avoiding extended contact. However, the Leh Old Town became the containment zone and went into lockdown in August. We were all required to remain in home quarantine for two weeks, but fortunately, everyone was negative from our team.
2:19 am, 03 Dec 2020
In 2020 Tomoaki Takeda recovered THF’s website that was damaged and had been offline for sometime. It was difficult to recover the files, save the flash files including the architecture animation, the Lhasa and Leh database for the houses, etc. We are still in the process of repairing and improving, and also uploading what we were not able to upload due to the damage. We would like to thank Tomoaki Takeda for recovering our website. We are very happy to be able to share it with you once again.
6:28 am, 29 Nov 2020
On October 29, 2019 Yutaka Hirako and Sonam Gyatso were invited to share their thoughts on Ladakh heritage and its conservation at Ladakh Literature Festival. At the Central Asia Museum, Leh.
6:22 am, 29 Nov 2020
In October, THF’s Yutaka Hirako and Pimpim de Azevedo attended the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage 20/20 Forum + 2019 Awards Ceremony
in Penang, Malaysia. It was the 20th Anniversary Celebration of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Yutaka Hirako received a Certificate of Appreciation for his contribution to the UNESCO Publication ”Asia Conserved Vol.4”. Also our previous award-wining project “Serkhang Monastery” was published in the series of the publication Asia Conserved Vol.3.
6:10 am, 29 Nov 2020
In August our beloved cat Rewa Tsering disappeared and never return. In October, meanwhile we were attending the UNESCO awards ceremony in Penang, a mother cat had five kittens in Kushu house. It was the best award we could win. After two months the mother cat took the kittens to her home. We are happy that Kushu heritage house is a good nursery.
On July 4, 2019 Yutaka Hirako was invited to give a lecture to architecture students from different universities of Bangalore at the Ladakh Kitchen Museum in the Central Asian Museum, Leh.
6:05 am, 29 Nov 2020
In July, Pimpim de Azevedo attended the 15 International Association of Tibetan Studies in Paris and presented “Artisans, Artists and Architects House – Preserving traditional crafts in Tibetan and Himalaya regions”. In Paris she met many old friends and made many new ones.
6:00 am, 29 Nov 2020
On May 7, 2019, David Cheung organised a talk event for member of a History Club in Hong Kong and invited Pimpim de Azevedo to be the speaker and to introduce Tibet Heritage Fund work and conservation approaches. The tittle of the talk was “Architecture and heritage conservation in Tibet and Himalaya – Retrospective and vision for the future”.
In 2019, the “Early memories of Leh old town”, a series of talks organised by THF/LOTI at the Kushu Heritage house continue. These events aim at sharing knowledge, history and experiences by senior Ladakhis to the students of various schools in Ladakh and the public in general. The local radio and television station staff attended these talks which were later broadcasted on their programme.
Tibet Heritage Fund and the Tibethaus in Frankfurt, Germany co-organised the exhibition “Lhasa old city”.
The exhibition featured photographs, diagrams and maps of the City of Lhasa, many of them unpublished. It also introduced the City’s architecture as well as construction materials and techniques. The exhibition honoured André Alexander’s life (1965-2012), his achievements and his dedication to his work with Tibet Heritage Fund.
On March 13, Geraldine Kunstadter organised a private event to celebrate the publication at her residence in New York with the presence of Pimpim de Azevedo and Yutaka Hirako.
We would like to thank Geraldine Kunstadter for her kindness in organizing the event.
5:36 am, 29 Nov 2020
On March 8, THF’s Pimpim de Azevedo and Yutaka Hirako gave a talk “Architecture and Heritage conservation in Tibet and Himalaya at the Tibet House in New York.
On March 6, 2019, the Lhasa House – Typology of an Endangered Species by André Alexander was launched with Tibet Heritage Fund’s Pimpim de Azevedo and Yutaka Hirako at Here Now/Latse, New York. The book launch celebrated the lifelong, vital work of late André Alexander and the Tibet Heritage Fund in the preservation, conservation, and documentation of traditional architecture in Tibet. We are most thankful to Here Now and Latse for organising and supporting this event.
The Lhasa House – Typology of an Endangered Species, André Alexander, Volume Two of Tibet Heritage Fund’s Conservation Inventory, was published in March 2019 by Serindia Publications, Chicago.
In 2018, ‘The Transformation of Leh Old Town: An Update’, an article by THF was published in the ORIENTATIONS magazine on November 2018. This article follows up the previous THF’s article ‘Standing at a Crossroads: The Struggle to Preserve Leh Old Town’ published in the ORIENTATIONS magazine on September 2015. This article describes the challenges and the THF’s strategies to preserve Leh old town, Ladakh.
4:59 am, 29 Nov 2020
On December the 5th, 2018 the Asia Society, Hong Kong invited Tibet Heritage Fund to give a talk ‘20 Years of Architectural Conservation Work in the High Himalaya – A Retrospective and Vision for the Future’ as part of the Asia Society Heritage in Asia series. For more than 20 years, THF have been working on the conservation, restoration and rehabilitation of Himalayan architecture and cultural heritage, developing a community-based approach to conservation through working on more than 100 conservation projects in the region. Some of these projects have won UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Conservation awards.
Due to the great success of the talk series in the Kushu house in 2017, in 2018 THF/LOTI organised eight talk events as part of the series ‘Early memories of Leh Old Town’. These events are part of our efforts to preserve the history and the living heritage of the old town. It is also aiming to keep the connection between past and present, bringing people from different generations and communities together. We hope to re-link, throughout these talks, the fading memories of Ladakh’s history and cultural heritage.
In 2017 two weavers assembled as “the Kardong sisters” in order to organize traditional weaving workshops. THF/LOTI invested in a handloom set and provided Kushu house as a venue. The Kardong sisters advertised the workshop through posters placed in the bazaar streets, hotel’s notice boards, and at Lala’s café. Contact the phone numbers in the poster to book a workshop.
In 2017, THF’s Yutaka Hirako was feature on the Japanese ABC Asahi Broadcasting Television programme ‘ Discovered in Villages in the World!’, a TV documentaries about Japanese living in different corners of the world and their lives, motivation and dreams. The Japanese actress Tomomi Nishimura (西村知美) together with the filming crew come over land from Delhi, India to meet with Yutaka in Ladakh and visit THF/LOTI projects. The documentary was broadcasted in all Japan on 12th September 2017.
https://www.asahi.co.jp/konnatokoroni/backnumber/20170919/index.html
As part of THF/LOTI efforts to preserve Leh old town, history, architecture and living heritage, we organized, a series of talks called ‘Early memories of Leh old town’ inviting prominent Ladakhi people to share their memories and life experience with the public, thus, bringing together different generations. Our first speaker was Mr. Abdul Ghani Sheikh a famous historian and scholar, his talk “My early reflection of the old town” was presented on September 30th.
In 2017, THF/LOTI organized a workshop in Kushu house, a cultural and heritage house restored by THF/LOTI in 2016. This workshop is part of our efforts to preserve the living cultural heritage of Leh old town. The topic was ‘how to organize a workshop: learning activities with the local artisans’ community’. The goal of the workshop was to train artisans and craftsman in how to organize their own workshops, cultural events and activities that could help in the preservation of their crafts and culture while generating income.
2:30 pm, 28 Nov 2020
On June 28, 2017 Pimpim de Azevedo gave a talk at the Tibet University in Lhasa on ‘Art (all expressions of art, modern and ancient, tangible or intangible) and Conservation’. This lecture aimed to give a general idea about art and conservation issues worldwide, as well as in the broader Himalaya context.
This lecture introduced the risks that art / heritage is facing and discussed conservation practices for the preservation of these arts and cultural expressions with a special focus on Tibetan and Himalaya.
In 2011, THF with the support of MISEREOR published ‘The house of Tashi Tsering’, a picture book to teach children about Tibetan architecture. This picture book, published by the Publishing house of Minority Nationalities (民族出版社), was a success and become out of print. Many people have asked for a re-print of the book and after discussion with publisher in 2017, we agreed to reprint a 2nd edition of 5000 copies and distribute it in Tibetan regions in China.
A workshop on furniture ‘The furnishing project’ was organized in 2017 to explore the potential of contemporary Ladakhi interiors. In this workshop we collaborate with Indian young designers Siddhartha and Mauli from the studio MANDALA. They designed the furniture at THF/LOTI studio and later a set of tables and two stools were made by our Ladakhi carpenters.
In July 2016, Pimpim de Azevedo attended the 14th IATS seminar in Bergen, Norway. She presented a ‘Report on the preservation of traditional architecture in Ladakh’. During the seminar she met many old friends and made new friends in the field of Tibetan studies.
In June 2, 2016 Pimpim de Azevedo gave a talk on ‘Himalayan architecture conservation’ at Wildcarpets gallery in Berlin, Germany and she presented THF’s conservation works in Lhasa, Kham, Amdo, Mongolia, Sikkim and Ladakh. Many people attended the event. We would like to thank Thomas Wild, for hosting and supporting the event at his gallery.
www.thomaswild.com
Chief Executive Councillor of LAHDC, Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo visited Leh Old Town and talked to the local community members who raised various issues and requests. His visit was concluded at our office. He was pleased with the efforts of THF/LOTI toward the conservation of historic Leh and praised the high quality of the work to preserve Leh Old Town and Ladakh’s cultural heritage, as well as the improvement of the living conditions of the local community. This was an important occasion for dialogue between C.E.C. of LAHDC and the local community.
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