Until today Tibet, which has been occupied by China since 1951, is still largely closed off from the Western world by strict regulations for Tibetans. Tibetans are for example not allowed to travel outside their country and repercussions against Tibetans that express themselves too freely are not uncommon.
Hence, the reason for Rachel Perera Weingeist to invite Tibetans living all over the world to submit their art work anonymously for the exhibition “Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art”, believing that this option would allow artists to express themselves without any repercussions.
Surprisingly a large number of works submitted by the 25 Tibetans artists living all over the world are self portraits and provided with a signature. Something that is quite remarkable for a culture, where in the past art was mainly used to support the transmission of Buddhist culture. Nowadays, however, art is becoming a vital medium for Tibetans to express themselves and artists create more and more work focused on the individual.
On top of the contemporary art works, the art videos on display also give viewers access to rarely seen expressions of Tibetan life and culture. A small selection of traditional thangka paintings is being exhibited to provide the necessary historical context.
The exhibition “Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art” is currently on show in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York until 15 December next.