Volte Gallery

Beyond the Mandala

12 March - 6 April
Private View
11 March 6 - 8 pm

Born in 1971 in Lhasa, where he still lives and works.

His paintings can be found in many private collections and foundations in the USA, Europe and Australia as well as in museums in China, the UK and USA.

Gade uses elements of traditional Tibetan painting familiar to him through his long study of traditional technique, which he describes as ‘a language with which to express the suffering and the essence of the Tibetan people, and to draw a map of the Tibetan soul.’ The language, however, is one that he has sought to make his own by removing the religious element. Declaring himself ‘bored’ with ‘Shangri-la’, he says he wants to ‘truly reveal my life, no matter how silly and trivial it is, to depict it whenever it is real. To this extent, I regard my work as realistic.

References to cultural icons such as Mickey Mouse, McDonald’s, and the Mao Suit are scattered throughout his work, used as a reflection of the current cultural state of Tibet as affected by the Cultural Revolution and the forces of globalisation. ‘There is no longer a single, homogenous culture in Tibet, rather, it is hybrid and diverse’, and it is this which interests him as does his own identity, being from both a Tibetan and Chinese background he distances himself from either culture by describing himself as belonging to the ethnic group, Number 57.

Recently, along with Li Xianting, Zhang Haitao and Fang Le, he co-curated the groundbreaking museum show, The Scorching Sun of Tibet – Contemporary Art from Tibet held at the Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing.

Tenzing Rigdol
Born in 1982 in Kathmandu, he lives and works in New York.

In Nepal Rigdol studied Tibetan sand painting, butter sculpture and Buddhist philosophy, earning a degree in Tibetan traditional thangka painting. In 2002, he and his family were granted political asylum in the USA. He went on to study philosophy, art and art history at the University of Colorado, where he graduated in 2005. As well as being an artist he is also an accomplished poet.

His paintings are the products of collective influences and interpretations of age-old traditions. Influenced by philosophy they often seek to capture the ongoing problems of human conflicts, and have strong political undertones - for him, politics is an unavoidable element in his art.

In 2010 he was not only featured in The Scorching Sun of Tibet, but also in the landmark Rubin Museum show Tradition Transformed - Tibetan Artist’s Respond, in New York. His works are in many private collections as well as museums in the USA and UK.

Tsherin Sherpa
Born in 1968 in Kathmandu, he lives and works in California.

Sherpa studied traditional Tibetan thangka painting from the age of twelve under the guidance of his father, Master Urgen Dorje, a renowned thangka artist from Ngyalam, Tibet. After six years of intense formal training, he left to study Mandarin and computer science in Taiwan. Three years later, he returned to Nepal working with his father in numerous projects that included painting thangkas and monastery murals.

In 1998 he moved to the USA working as a thangka artist and as an instructor at several Buddhist centers in California. In recent years his emphasis has shifted from traditional subjects to more contemporary concerns, including imagining what traditional Tibetan spirits would look like now if they too had left Tibet and journeyed with him to California. His technique is as precise and immaculate as ever, but the new Tibeto/Californian spirits are possessed of a revitalised energy: some depicted as children, others shown as quaintly demonic or possessed of a cocksure sexiness. Often he appropriates globalised icons and logos of mass culture and luxury branding, taken from the internet, in a style he calls CyberPop.

Like Tenzing Rigdol, he too featured in the Beijing show The Scorching Sun of Tibet, and Tradition Transformed, at the Rubin Museum, New York.

Palden Weinreb
Born in 1982 in New York, where he still lives and works.

Weinreb graduated from Skidmore College in 2004. His work concentrates on drawing, painting, lithography and new media. Unlike the other three artists in this exhibition he has not studied traditional Tibetan painting techniques but rather derives inspiration from the inherent abstraction found in natural and modern forms, his work drawing on a line between abstract and referential content at the same time maintaining a minimal amount of ambiguous information. This reductive aesthetic lends itself to both personal and universal references, developing a focus in defining an abstract structure that invokes multiple associations. This structure lays the groundwork for a contemplative dialogue, leaving the viewer to ponder the connections mined from the subconscious.

Although eschewing any overt religious influences he speaks of his techniques forming a visual repetition ‘which elicit the meditative quality involved in my process and my aesthetic. Through repetition an unconscious pattern develops, forming organic structures and natural movement. I am attracted to an “otherness” and mystery in this pattern, suggesting an underlying and irreproducible ethereal code’.

Featured in The Scorching Sun of Tibet, his work can be found in private collections in Europe and the USA.