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Gonkar Gyatso


"With the advent of Modern Age the figure of the believer characterizing the traditional society was replaced little by little by the figure of the citizen so much dear to intellectuals as Jean-Jacques Rousseau. With the advent of the capitalism and the beginning of the industrial society it makes way the figure of the worker that gradually barefoot the citizen. In our contemporary society the evolution is still in progress and to replace the worker could be the consumer or the subject. In fact for some contemporary intellectuals as for an example the Polish sociologist Zygmun Bauman our society is not founded on the production of goods and services but it is structured for satisfying the inconstant desires of a people of consumers for which the liberty and the happiness coincide with a high-level of consumption. For other thinkers as for an example the French sociologist Alain Touraine to replace the worker is the subject for which it becomes of fundamental importance both the culture and the identity that has stopped to depend on social roles and cultural tradition becoming a real work in progress that however is not the result of a linear and cumulative trial but the combination of fragments that to the necessity can be assembled, replaced or abandoned. These considerations introduce us to the particular artistic practice of Gonkar Gyatso protagonist in this period of the extraordinary show “Pop Phraseology” at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong and of the group show “Metaphysical” in Milan at Galleria Mimmo Scognamiglio. Gonkar Gyatso is a Tibetan born British and American based artist who moved to London in the late 90’s on scholarship to the Chelsea School of Art and Design. Grown up during Mao’s cultural revolution destroying all the art that did not coincide with his ideological program including Tibetan and Western ones, during his training Gyatso came to appreciate his Tibetan heritage and studied traditional Tibetan Thangka (scroll painting). In his artistic practice Gyatso as a post-global ethnographer explores the link between traditional Buddhist iconography with Western pop culture reflecting on the popularity of Buddhism in the West and bringing equal attention to the mundane and religion fields also because in our contemporary society the consumerism is really a religion. In his practice Gyatso often combines traditional calligraphy and iconography of Buddhist Thangka with collage of colorful stickers from a mass media saturated imaginary, traditional Tibetan life with global mass culture", from the interview published on the Wall Street International magazine.


Pendulum of Autonomy, 2014

Mixed media collage and Dibond on aluminum honeycomb panel, 152.4 x 203.2 cm; 60 x 80 in. Courtesy the artist



Untitled, 2012


Mixed media collage and pencil on resin cast sculpture
40.6 x 45.7 x 30.5 cm; 16 x 18 x 12 in. Courtesy the artist

Sustainable Happiness, 2012


Mixed media collage on treated fine art paper, 153 x 102 cm; 60 15 x 40 15. Courtesy the artist

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© 2019 Raffaele Quattrone. All Rights Reserved. This website has a non commercial purpose.

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