Tibetan art in New York shows that the language of contemporary art is truly global.
From 20 July to 15 December 2013, an exhibition of Tibetan contemporary art, taken mainly from The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation’s collection, showcases new and dynamic art from Tibetan artists for the American audience.
The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz, New York, is hosting an exhibition of contemporary Tibetan art. Titled “Anonymous“, the exhibition includes over fifty works by 27 artists who live in Tibet, as well as diaspora artists. Painting, sculpture, video, photography and installation art are on view from 20 July to 15 December 2013, with the exhibition travelling to the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont and the Queens Museum of Art, New York.
Guest curator Rachel Perera Weingeist, Senior Advisor to The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, chose many of the works from the Rubins’ private collection. Several works were created specifically for the exhibition.
According to the press release, “‘Anonymous’ seeks to explore the tension between an ancient culture’s unbroken artistic tradition and the personality-driven world of contemporary art.”
The press release goes on to say that “art is becoming a vital medium of self-expression for
Tibetans—increasingly, artists are creating work focused on the individual. A cautious 21st century visual language steeped in irony, metaphor, and allusion has fully emerged.”
The curator states in the press release:
It is only roughly in the last ten years that a contemporary Tibetan visual culture has galvanised. Concepts of anonymity, authorship and self-representation are still very much in flux. By and large there is trepidation and reserved acceptance of this new introspective visual culture.
The exhibition includes the following artists, along with other anonymous contributors:
- Ang Sang
- Karma Phuntsok
- Kesang Lamdark
- Losang Gyatso
- Marie-Dolma Chophel
- Palden Weinreb
- Penba Wangdu
- Phurba Namgay
- Rabkar Wangchuk
- Sherab Gyaltsen
- Tenzing Rigdol
- Tsering Nyandak
- Tsewang Tashi
- Tsherin Sherpa
- Tulku Jamyang
An online review published in Phayul states that a common motif in contemporary Tibetan art is self-immolation and all art is political.
- Tibetan art installation brings homeland to exiles – December 2011 – Tenzing Rigdol, a Tibetan contemporary artist, transported 20,000 kilograms of Tibetan soil to Dharamsala, India
- Rubin Museum breaks tradition to show the first Tibetan art show in New York – New York Times – September 2010 – the Rubin Museum presents an exhibition that showcases nine Tibetan artists
- Beijing first to host Arles program outside France – June 2010 – a photography exhibitions programme features Tibetan artist Mo Yi’s video and installation, My Illusory City
- Buddhist motifs, artist collectives in Tibetan art – Asia Art Archive – October 2008 – a sudden interest in Tibetan contemporary art emerges
- Contemporary Tibetan art moves away from its religious origins – September 2008 – Tibetan contemporary art is not merely “ethnic”
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