Published: April 5, 2016

Campus Visit of Contemporary Tibetan Artist Gonkar Gyatso

April 5
CAS Speaker Series

Widely considered the father of cotemporary Tibetan art, Gonkar Gyatso was one of a number of young Tibetans seeking new vehicles for creative expression and co-founded the Sweet Tea House artists’ collective in Lhasa in in 1984. Later he left Tibet first for the exile community in Dharamsala and then to pursue further studies in the UK.

Throughout his career, Gonkar has produced mixed media works that disrupt traditional Tibetan art, referencing conceptual frameworks ranging from Kandinsky to Cubism as well as drawing on Buddhist symbols. Controversial to some, Gonkar’s works emphasize questions of identity performance, displacement and exile, and the commodification of Tibetan Buddhism. Gyatso’s public lecture, “Buddha in the Bathroom: Appropriation and Pop Culture in Contemporary Tibetan Art” begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 in Hale 270. There will be a reception before the lecture at 6:00 p.m. Co-sponsored by Tibet Himalaya Initiative and the Center for Asian Studies. This is part of Tibetan Arts Week, which is April 4-10, coinciding with the Conference on World Affairs. The Tibet Himalaya Initiative is honored to host Gonkar Gyatso, a key figure in contemporary Tibetan art, and Dorje Tsering Chenaktsang, also known as Jangbu, a Tibetan poet and filmmaker. Public events include an advance screening of Jangbu's forthcoming film, Voices from the Stone, poetry readings and an art installation by Gonkar Gyatso. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Reception: 6:00 p.m.
Lecture: 6:30 p.m.
Hale 270, CU-Boulder.