January 28 - June 22, 2014
Contemporary Tibetan Art
Curated by Rachel Perera Weingeist
Largely drawn from The Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection
Anonymous is an exploration of changing attitudes towards self-expression, attribution, and
identity in contemporary Tibetan art. Traditional Tibetan culture placed little emphasis on individuality
or artistic self-expression. Art adhered to a formal system of production to support the transmission of
Tibetan religious culture and was, by and large, unattributed-artists remained anonymous. However, in the
global contemporary market, the creativity of the individual has become the primary basis by which we produce,
interpret and consume art. Innovation and novelty are often valued more highly than technique and tradition.
Attribution-the artist's name-has become a fundamental aspect of the work. Within the new social reality as
part of the People's Republic of China, art is becoming a vital medium of self-expression for Tibetans.
Artists are increasingly focused on the experience of the individual and a cautious 21st-century visual
language steeped in irony, metaphor and allusion has fully emerged.
The work presented in Anonymous is largely drawn from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection,
much of it made expressly for this presentation. Rather than proposing a defined set of answers, the
exhibition provides opportunities for curatorial, artistic, and audience discovery. In a range of mediums
and individual styles, the artists explore themes of identity and self-expression. Displayed without
attribution, the videos approach these themes from an alternative vantage point-embracing anonymity
as an opportunity for open exploration and the presentation of oft-censored imagery. Experienced collectively,
the range of work across media considers the varied roles of self-expression and identity in contemporary
The inclusion of work from artists from around the globe-Dharamsala, Kathmandu, Lhasa, New York City,
Oakland, Thimphu, Zurich and the Australian Outback-provides for a range of perspectives. Firmly established
as well as emerging artists are featured, including Ang Sang, Benchung, Dedron, Gade, Jhamsang, Karma Phuntsok,
Kesang Lamdark, Losang Gyatso, Marie-Dolma Chophel, Nortse, Palden Weinreb, Penba Wangdu, Phurba Namgay,
Rabkar Wangchuk, Sherab Gyaltsen, Sodhon, Tanor, Tenzing Rigdol, Tsering Nyandak, Tsewang Tashi, Tsherin
Sherpa, Tulku Jamyang, and anonymous contributors.
Visit the traveling exhibition website here.