Past Exhibitions

Lives of the Dalai Lama

January 11 – March 1, 2018

This exhibit features a unique series of print works depicting the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. According to Tibetan Buddhism, each Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of his predecessors who are the manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, or Chenrezig, the patron saint of Tibet and Bodhisattva of Compassion. Starting with Pema Dorje (1391–1474), the disciple of Tsongkhapa and founder of the Gelugpa school, also known as Gendun Drup, the institution of the Dalai Lamas has played an important role in the development and evolution of Tibet.

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Repatriation Art Collection
Tibet House US Repatriation Collection

November 20 – January 2, 2018

The Repatriation Collection was started in 1992 in the wake of our international blockbuster Wisdom and Compassion Exhibition as part of our mandate to present, preserve, and promote the endangered cultural heritage of Tibet. This growing collection has been created by generous collectors who are deeply concerned about the future of Tibetan culture, and continue thoughtfully to donate representative examples of the vast and sophisticated repertoire that they appreciate and love. Surviving art objects from the mass destruction before and during the Cultural Revolution have appeared in museums and in the international art market, and an emerging understanding of their aesthetic beauty and symbolic meaning has firmly established the distinctive excellence of the Tibetan artistic tradition. We gratefully acknowledge the wisdom and generosity of all the contributors to the Tibet House Repatriation Collection.

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Dharma Art: Calligraphy by Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar

September 15 – November 8, 2017

Tibetan master calligrapher Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar’s unique art reflects his deep devotion to Dharma. Coined “Dharma Art” by the Tibetan Buddhist master Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it is a linguistic dance of Buddhist images and elements — encompassing Lord Buddha’s body, spirit, and mind. Boldly experimenting with a variety of media and styles, his work is constantly evolving.  The startling beauty and detail in Jamyang’s work stems from his deep devotion to the teachings of Buddha and his love for the Tibetan language. His calligraphic depictions of Buddhist deities often serve as meditation tools, have been exhibited internationally, and are in private collections worldwide. This is his second solo show at Tibet House US.

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Glimpses of Mustang: Works by Jaroslav Poncar

May 23 – July 27, 2017

Mustang is a tiny Tibetan region in the Himalayas, well hidden behind the two eight thousand meter peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Prior to 2008, Mustang was a kingdom within the Kingdom of Nepal. Since 1992, its borders have been open to a controlled number of foreign visitors. In 1996 Jaroslav Poncar travelled to Mustang to photographically document the best examples of traditional Tibetan architecture.

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Tibetan Tangkas Today

March 10-May 11, 2017

This exhibition features sacred tangka artworks created by internationally acclaimed master artist and tangka painter Karsang Lama from the Dharmapala Thangka Center of Kathmandu in Nepal. Tibetan sacred paintings are unframed and can be rolled up, often depict Buddhist deities. In this show, both peaceful and wrathful deities from the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions will be on display. The role of wrathful iconography is to provide protection for religious practitioners as well as sacred Tibetan Buddhist sites.

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Silent Spaces: Works by Matjaz Krivic

January 12 – March 1, 2017

In this series of panoramic photographs, Slovenian artist Matjaz Krivic explores Tibet’s venues of veneration and celebrations of life. The artist captures the vibrancy of sacred sites, be they stupas, mountains, rivers, or monuments, and conveys the reverberations of worship, gratitude, and adoration for life on earth, achieved through silence and meditation. Matjaz Krivic is an award-winning documentary photographer who has traveled the globe capturing the distinctiveness and grandeur of indigenous people and places for 18 years.

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From Earth to the Divine: Contemporary Mongolian Expressionism

September 9 – November 17, 2016

This exhibition brings together for the first time in New York renowned artists from Mongolia who bring their artistic creations through paintings, engravings, sculptures, Tsam masks, and puppetry. The Mongolian artists represented here depict a distinctive nomadic and animalistic culture. They present imagery from the vast steppe, with spiritual ties and shamanistic traditions and referencing Mongolia’s flora and fauna, as well as Buddhist ritual objects and masks.

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Instantaneous Vision of Radiance
Tibet House US Repatriation Collections

December 7, 2016- January 3, 2017

The aesthetics of Tibetan Buddhist art is based upon revealing the Buddhist understanding of the way things truly are. Because of this, Tibetan art, expressed primarily by deities and their setting, possess an intensity, a power and a reality that appear more penetrating, more beautiful, and greater than ordinary….Utmost care is taken in the precise depiction of these emanations of wisdom and compassion – they break the veil of “illusion” and offer a complete, instantaneous vision of the radiant beauty and power of pure reality.

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Empowering the Extraordinary Dakinis
Rima Fujita

May 20 – August 4

Empowering the Extraordinary Dakinis is an exhibit featuring artist Rima Fujita’s recent series of work exploring the theme of female empowerment. Ms. Fujita examines women’s spiritual roles through iconography, tales and figures from the Buddhist tradition and spiritual cultures, as well as drawing upon modern influences. “My works celebrate the timelessness of female beauty and power,” says Ms. Fujita.

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Bridging Realms: Contemporary Tibetan Art
Tashi Norbu, Sonam Dolma, Ngawang Jorden, Tara Lobsang, Tenzin Phuntsok, Passang Topgay Tenzin Ngawang, Sarah Rose Hector Marcel, Gonkar Gyatso, Karma Phuntsok, Rima Fujita,   Tashi Lodoe, Peter Makela, Tashi Wangchuk, Konchok Rinchen, Gina de la Chesnaye ‎

March 11 – May 10

This exhibit presents contemporary works connected by Tibetan cultural and philosophical thought embracing contradiction and reconciling polarities. Questioning the logic of ordinary perception and Aristotle’s law of non-contradiction in their paintings, mixed media and photography, the artists rely on provocative and paradoxical aspects of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy and the ideal of the “middle way between extremes.”

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Tibet – Looking Back

Jaroslav Poncar

January 15 – March 2, 2016

Jaroslav Poncar’s photographs of Tibet were taken over four extensive journeys more than twenty years ago.  On his journey to Tibet in 1985, he travelled overland from Chengdu to Lhasa, and further to the former kingdom Guge in the extreme West, experiencing the country as it looked ages ago.

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Sublime World 

Sonam Lhamo & Tiffani Gyatso

October 23 – December 21, 2015

Sublime Worlds features artists Sonam Lhamo’s and Tiffani Gyatso’s highly emotive and imaginative mixed-media paintings. Their works reflect inner consciousness, spontaneity, practice and awareness, nurtured by Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, folklore and symbolism and the artists’ own spiritual journeys.
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