BREATHTAKING TIBETAN EXHIBITION TO OPEN IN MACAO
From 22 April, the Himalayan Themed Show “Tibet Revealed: An In Depth Look At Art From The Roof Of The World” Will Feature Exceptional Examples Of Tibetan Buddhist Art Alongside Thought-Provoking Paintings By Three Tibetan Artists Living In Exile.
The show marks the grand re-opening of iAOHiN Gallery, following the 3-month refurbishment. The $1m remodeling was subsidised by Macao’s Cultural Industries Fund as part of the Government drive to diversify regional economy into arts and culture.
Macau, China – For over 1000 years, art has been an essential aspect of Tibetan culture, namely, spiritual art. Closely linked with Buddhism, art revolved around the religious and philosophical principles of the faith. In the 21st century, Tibetan art extends far beyond the religious. An exhibition entitled “Tibet Revealed” aims to convey the multifaceted spirit of Tibetan art, seen through the intricate Buddhist scroll paintings from remote monasteries and through the lens of Tibetan artists exiled from their homeland. Well aware that the Western perspective of Tibetan culture is cast in exoticism— this exhibition aims to present views of the Tibetan experience from the perspective of Tibetans themselves.
The exhibition, presented by the iAOHiN Gallery will showcase the provocative works of exiled Tibetan painters alongside a select group of traditional Tibetan scroll paintings (thangka). “Through more than 20 contemporary paintings and 30 thangka we will present to visitors how Tibetan culture and religion are preserved in both at home and in exile, how Tibetans live their life and how Tibetan history is seen through a Tibetan perspective,” the curator of the exhibition, Simon Lam explains.
A centuries-old painting tradition, thangka, is still alive thanks in part to artistic Tibetan monks who, passing the craft in direct lineage throughout generations, often spend months or even years producing each of the intricate masterpieces. On display in iAOHiN Gallery will be a select group of thangka on loan from the Beijing Institute of Ethnic Art, some dating to Qing dynasty. Other, more recent pieces are sent directly from the remote Wutun monastery in Rebgong – famous throughout Himalayas for the centuries old monastic thangka art schooling.
Alongside the thangka scrolls, on display in the iAOHiN Gallery will be provocative paintings by Tibetan artists in exile — all being shown for the first time on Chinese soil. The exhibition is expected to stir a controversy and test Macao’s independent system within China. “Some of these works are basically forbidden to be shown in the Mainland“ Simon Lam said.
The contemporary Tibetan diaspora artist, Tashi Norbu will arrive to Macau with his paintings straight from the Asia Week show in New York. Apart from presenting his paintings, he will also lead a Tibetan painting workshop for children on the 23rd of April. Tashi Norbu, an independent contemporary artist with the Belgian citizenship and who lives and works in The Netherlands, was educated as a traditional Tibetan thangka painter at the offices of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. He completed art studies in the western world at the Saint Lucas Academy of Visual Arts in Belgium and has developed into an all-round and versatile contemporary artist. His art, however, still shows the fundamentals of his background – Tibet and Buddhism – combined with strong influences from western art forms, western ideas and modern time’s icons.
Also showcased will be works of Rabkar Wangchuk, coming to Macau from the New York’s Rubin Museum of Art. Rabkar Wangchuk was born into refugee parents who fled the Communist Chinese occupation of his ancestral land, Tibet in 1959. He studied Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy for seventeen years at the Gyudmed Tantric University in India, where he received trainings in Tibetan Thangka paintings. Under the shadow of his lama teachers he has gained exceptional skills in the art of wood-carving, sand mandala, butter sculpture and stupa architecture. Over the years he also seek inspiration from artists such as Dali, Gauguin or Picasso. His arts have been featured in many major exhibitions and workshops across the globe.
Perhaps the most interesting works in “Tibet Revealed” will be paintings of Karma Phuntsok, the Tibetan artist living in exile in Australia, who sent three paintings directly from his own collection. Karma Phuntsok was born in 1952 in Lhasa, Tibet. His family fled Tibet with him after the Chinese invasion in 1959, escaping into India as refugees. He studied drawing, painting and Thanka painting in Nepal. In 1981 he migrated to Australia, and now lives in the “Bush” part of Queensland with his wife and son. The startling beauty and richness which graces his work is influenced by his diverse life experiences from a childhood in Tibet under Chinese oppression to life as a refugee in India; his life in the Australian Bush, and the veneration with which he holds His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Internationally acclaimed, Karma’s work is scattered throughout the world, in private collections and galleries.
ABOUT iAOHiN GALLERY:
iAOHiN Gallery immersive environment stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art. The first private art gallery in Macau, iAOHiN has welcomed thousands of visitors since its founding in 2011. Its outstanding exhibitions of paintings, sculpture, jewlellery, and other art, which include photography, are complemented by a diverse array of workshops, on-stage conversations, concerts, and special events.
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