Since the 1960s, Tibetan self-government has been established in autonomous areas; there, Tibetans live in compact communities under the unified leadership of the Chinese central government. A number of Chinese artists and scholars have come to work and live in Tibetan cities, in Lhasa in particular.
Against this background, this paper is about contemporary paintings that engaged with the vestiges of Tibet’s heritage and made by (different generations of) Chinese artists in Tibet. In this paper, I would take the initial experiment of reshaping the iconography of Tibetan Buddhism by Han Shuli in 1982 as its starting point. This paper examines what Chinese artists have done in the bilingual and bicultural environment of Tibet in the past three decades. It aims to explore the tension between Tibetan and non-Tibetan (mainly Chinese) artists in Lhasa, and the unsettling problem of their cultural identity in between Tibet, the globalised West and China. To its end I hope it also offers a new interpretation of contemporary Tibetan art that created by Chinese artists, which is based on modes of art-making characterised as Tibetan style.
Jia Peng, Chongqing University, China
Stream: Cultural Studies
This paper is part of the ACCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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