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14.03.15 — 12.04.15

Transcending Tibet

Mapping Contemporary Tibetan Art in the Global Context

Exhibition Time: March 14-April 12, 2015
Location: Rogue Space Chelsea, New York

In partnership with Trace Foundation Arthub is pleased to announce a landmark exhibition in New York City. Coinciding with Asia Week New York, this contemporary Tibetan art exhibition will feature the new commissioned works of 30 artists in response to the question, What does it mean to be Tibetan today?

For a culture as diverse and dispersed as any on the planet, this is no easy question. Over the past few decades, Tibetan artists have been exploring their own answers, digesting the techniques and sensibilities of the Tibetan tradition and mixing them with contemporary personal styles and materials that would be difficult to define as simply Tibetan. Once limited to religious thangkas and landscapes meant for tourists, Tibetan visual art has in just ten years transformed into a flourishing international movement. Trace Foundation has been at the forefront of this new art scene, proudly supporting these emerging artists with grants and scholarships. Now, we invite you to join us for a glimpse into Tibet through the eyes, instruments, and the hands of artists living through this critical time in history.

The first of its kind in the West, Transcending Tibet will feature new commissioned artworks by twenty-six contemporary Tibetan artists, alongside four Western and Asian artists whose work incorporates Tibetan themes. While acknowledging the exoticism that Tibet has long inspired in the Western imagination, this exhibition shows how artists are transcending this tradition, moving beyond a simple ethnic existence, to develop a much more complex global phenomenon. The exhibition represents an important turning point in the history of how contemporary Tibetan art has been presented so far—exploring both the complex history of Tibet and the ways contemporary Tibet is not only a phenomenon of exile but also alive and well on the Tibetan Plateau.

Transcending Tibet introduces a large selection of artists whose artwork maps the complexity of the Tibetan contemporary art movement, and shows how internationalism has created a rich range of styles—appropriating from and influenced by a multitude of places, traditions, and contexts. Participating artists represent a wide array of points in their careers, from emerging to established. One artist, Gade, is known for inserting icons such as Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald, and Spiderman where the Buddha once was in pieces that otherwise embrace the tone and feel of traditional Tibetan art. Other artists are using Western materials to address religious and social issues in Tibet, such as Kesang Lamdark, who often uses spray paint, soda cans, melted plastic, tequila bottles, and disco music in his work. Artists Gonkar Gyatso and Tenzing Rigdol have recently been featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog in English, Tibetan, and Chinese, with contributions by contemporary Tibetan art scholar Leigh Miller, Arthub’s Founder and Director Davide Quadrio, and Chief Curator Emeritus, Rubin Museum of Art, Martin Brauen, as well as artists Gade and Benchung.

For a full calendar of events, including artist lead roundtable discussions, a live auction and more check in here.

Participating artists: Benchung, Ga Qin, Gade, Gonkar Gyatso, Jhamsang, Kesang Lamdark, Livia Liverani, Losang Gyatso, Michela Martello, Mirella Virgili, Nortse, Nyima Dhondup, Pema Rinzin, Pempa, Phuntsok Tsering, Rabkar Wangchuk, Rima Fujita, Sodhon, Sonam Dolma Brauen, Tashi Norbu (Amsterdam), Tashi Norbu (Lhasa), Tashi Phuntsok, Tenzin Norbu, Tenzin Phakmo, Tenzing Rigdol, TseKal, Tserang Dhondup, Tseren Dolma, Tsering Nyandak, and Tülkü Jamyang, with a special video presentation by Lu Yang (in collaboration with FarEastFarWest Collection, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago), Tsering Tashi, and Charwai Tsai.

Curated by Davide Quadrio. Organized and directed by Paola Vanzo

Rogue Space Chelsea is located between 10th and 11th Avenues at 508 West 26th Street, 9E–F, New York, NY 10001. Trace Foundation is located at 132 Perry Street, Suite 2B, New York, NY 10014. Further details and sample images are available at http://gaton.trace.org/

In November of 2014, Trace Foundation and Arthub collaborated on a preview exhibition, which included eleven artists, all of whom are now participating in the larger spring exhibition. For more information and images from Transcending Tibet Preview Exhibition see here.