Past Event

Early Modern Art in Tibet: Gendun Chophel and Amdo Jampa

November 19, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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Online Zoom Event

Please join us for a lecture with:

Professor Tsewang Tashi, Tibet University 

Pema Bhum, co-founder and leading director of The Latse Project

Moderated by: Yuyuan (Victoria) Liu, PhD Student, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Contextualizing the early development of modern art in Tibet during the 1940s, Professor Tsewang Tashi will speak about two major figures at the time, Gendun Chophel (1903–1951) and Amdo Jampa (1911-2002). Both artists had been greatly influenced by factors of modernity. Gendun Choephel was a scholar, writer and poet who had not only made remarkable contributions to the studies of history, religion, philosophy and literature of Tibet, but also learned western realism and other painting techniques besides mastering traditional Tibetan Thangka painting. Amdo Jampa was a Thangka painter who had been engaging in a variety of painting styles, including traditional styles of Tibetan, Chinese, socialist realism, and modernism. His mural paintings in Takden Mingur Palace at Norbulingka in Lhasa is a groundbreaking artwork of the early modern art in Tibet and has inspired many later artists who are familiar with traditional visual vocabulary. His life span almost covered the entire 20th century and he had personally experienced the many historical events in Tibet, which in turn is reflected in his lifelong art productions. The two painters’ life stories, art productions and close relationship with each other indicate the complex and dynamic nature of art development in the modern history of Tibet.

Professor Tsewang Tashi will give an introduction lecture of the two artists and then speak in conversation with Pema Bhum, Director of The Latse Project regarding the details of the two artists’ biography and friendship. The event will end with a Q&A session.

About Tsewang Tashi

Dr. Tsewang Tashi was born in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1963. He is an artist, a curator and a professor at the School of Fine Arts of Tibet University. He received the Bachelor of Fine Art from Minzu University of China in 1984 and later earned a master’s degree from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2002 and a PhD from Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2014.

Tsewang Tashi conducts research mainly in the theory, history and creation of modern and contemporary art and art education. He has published the book Modernism in Tibetan Arts: The Creative Journey of Four Artists. He is one of the founders of Gedun Choephel Artists’ Guild, Deputy Chairman of Tibet Oil Painting Association, Deputy Chairman of Lhasa Artists Association and a member of the Committee of Tangka Art Exposition. He has also recently published A History of Art in Twentieth Century Tibet in 2018.

Tsewang Tashi's work has been included in many books, including The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics and the Representation of Tibet (Clare E. Harris, 2012, University of Chicago Press), The Condition of contemporary Oil Painting in China (Leng Lin, Zhao Li, 1993, Beijing, Jinri China Press), periodicals and medias, including The New York Times, Orientations, ArtAsia Pacific, CCTV, among others.

About Pema Bhum

Pema Bhum was the director of Latse Library for 17 years, He is currently a co-founder and leading director of The Latse Project. He holds an M.A. in Tibetan Studies from the Northwest Nationalities Institute in Lanzhou, Gansu Province (PRC), where he also taught Tibetan language and literature. After his arrival in India in 1988, he founded the first independent Tibetan language newspaper in exile, Dmangs-gtso, and the Tibetan literary magazine, Ljang-gzhon. From 1992-1996, he served as founding director of the Amnye Machen Institute in Dharamsala, India, and for two years taught Tibetan language and literature at Indiana University. He is author of two memoirs of the Cultural Revolution — Six Stars with a Crooked Neck (2001), and Dran tho rdo ring ma (2006)–as well as Heartbeat of a New Generation, now translated into three languages. He has also authored several articles, the most recent of which are published in issues of the Latse Library Newsletter.

This event will be conducted via Zoom. Registration required. Please register here.

Organized by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Co-sponsored by the Latse Project and the Modern Tibetan Studies Program.

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Athina Fontenot