Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Contemporary Tibetan art

Contemporary Tibetan art is exciting to me. The art works I've included below have a lot of exuberance, a sense of play and fun. They use the Tibetan traditional religious art techniques, then add all sorts of Western or modern South Asian pop images, a melding of old and new, East and West. I find the images a wonderful and philosophically stimulating culture clash.

There is a lot of use of collage, a lot of cartoon style, use of commercial, advertising images, a lot of play on the old, formal, staid icon images and contrasting, child-like explosiveness in color. I think it takes courage for these young artists to do the work they do because they've mastered the traditional art, then taken those images of the Buddha or symbols of the spiritual path, combined them with non-devotional images.

Ang Tsherin Sherpa, Knock knock..who's there 2013

Tenzing Rigdol, The Whispering Storm, 2014

Tenzing Rigdol, With Great Power Comes Great Entertainment
Buddha@hotmail-1 by Gonkar Gyatso, 2006

Tenzing Rigdol, Journey of my Teacher 2011

Gonkar Gyatso, Holy Moly II, 2015
Tenzing Rigdol, Buddha Market: Self Critique, 2009

Tenzing Rigdol, Buddha Personalized 1, 2011

Tenzing Rigdol, Buddha Personalized 2, 2011

Tenzing Rigdol, Buddha Personalized 3, 2011
Tenzing Rigdrol, Pin drop silence: Eleven-headed Avalokitesvara, 2013
Tenzing Rigdol, Mic-key, Nya-key and Mickey Mandala, 2008
Karma Phuntsok, Hat Man
Tenzing Rigdol's performance art piece, called Scripture Noodle

Tenzing Rigdol, Aes Dhammo Sanantano (Change is the Eternal Law), 2006
Karma Phuntsok, Mona Lhasa
Tsherin Sherpa
Tsherin Sherpa
Pema Rinzin, Bubble of Wishful Gems
Rabkar Wangchuck, Four Harmonious Friends
Gonkar Gyatso's Shambala of the Modern Times, 2008 in exquisite detail
Tsherin Sherpa
Tashi Norbu, Tulips Buddha
Bin Bai, also known as Genqiu Gyatso, The Hunter and the Skeleton
Tsherin Sherpa

Tsherin SherpaAll Things Considered
Tsherin Sherpa
Tsherin Sherpa
Tsherin Sherpa
GadeThe Hulk: Diamond Series, 2008
Losang Gyatso, mantras and jewels   
Sodhon, Loving Kindness
Karma Phuntsok, Luminosity

Karma Phuntsok, Gold Buddha

Tsherin Sherpa, Untitled (Cause and Effect) 2012

Losang Gyatsodancer in the empty sky 
Tsherin Sherpa

Ang Sang, Faces of Buddha, 2011

Gonkar Gyatso: Buddha with Puzzle’s Clues
Tsherin Sherpa
Tsherin Sherpa, Lost Spirits, 2014
Tashi Norbu, The Union of Pure Appearance and Emptiness

Tsherin Sherpa

Tsherin Sherpa

Tsherin Sherpa

Sodhon, I Exist

Tsherin Sherpa, DOI (Death of Innocence) 

Gade, Let’s Sing that Song
Pema Rinzin, Peace and Energy (Yellow) 2009
Rabkar WangchukSpiritual Mind and Modern Technology, 2013


  1. Victoria -- where di you find these? They are amazing...thank you

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Dear Pema, I've been interested in contemporary Tibetan art for some time, particularly in the brilliant Gonkar Gyatso, who I think has been a superb pioneer. Looking up his latest art, I found that number of other Tibetan artists have produced some marvelous works of art.

      There is a lot more there I did not include in this post that is worth googling.