Thursday, August 13, 2009

Journey to Tibet — a Photo Exhibit

The Artist Nortse is portrayed in a bottle tossing butterflies inscribed with Tibetan characters with arms bound. The bottleneck is swathed in red cloth, perhaps an allusion to the Red Pioneers, a communist organization (Epoch Times/Nortse).

Tibetan Artists use Photography to depict Life in Tibet
Monika Weiss (Epoch Times, 8/10/09)

Bringing an artist’s eye and sensibility to the medium of photography, eleven artists from Tibet exchanged their brushes for the camera: their usual medium for artistic self-expression is painting. The artists were invited to participate in an exhibition sponsored by Gendün Chöpel Gallery in Lhasa. Most of the artists also exhibit through international galleries as well. The gallery’s chosen theme was to present their day-to-day life and impressions of life in Lhasa, Tibet.

Thirty-two of the 700 photos the artists submitted were chosen for the exhibit, substantial enough to get a vividly diverse picture of everyday life in Lhasa, as well as reveal unexpectedly rare facets that help to ground our perception of Tibetan life. Who would have expected to discover a photo capturing a Tibetan Muslim festival? Or an ancient mosque, a small boy in Tibetan festival finery and typical headdress, or Muslim women clad in the chador? The curator discreetly mentions that even provincial governors had attended this event. The photos were displayed at the World Culture Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Islam alongside Buddhism in Lhasa
One contributor to the exhibit is Suo Mani, a Muslim artist, who is a painter, and now a photographer, as well. He studied at the art school in Lhasa, the town where he also lives. He is a member of a large Muslim group, that migrated from Kashmir centuries ago and that ended up settling in Tibet. The descendants from the original group continue to live peacefully alongside their primarily Tibetan Buddhist neighbors... More>>