Parallel Realities examines the work of five contemporary Tibetan artists- Gade, Nortse, Kesang Lamdark, Tenzing Rigdol and Tsherin Sherpa-whose lives and art span the globe, from Tibet to Europe to North America. Each artist addresses his personal relationship to his cultural history and heritage, exploring it through different mediums and from different vantage points. Often, such viewpoints diverge along geopolitical boundaries, which are also the cause of strife and war. Here, however, the juxtapositions present common themes and inheritance, as well as individual searches for meaning in today's diaspora.
Gade (born 1971 in Lhasa; lives and works in Lhasa) Born in Tibet while being half Tibetan and half Chinese descent brings a unique perspective into seeing today's situation from multiple angles - while overcoming the challenges of working from Lhasa, he helped establish the Gedun Choephel Artist Guild. His current work combines Buddhist prayer beads sewn into yak skin that form evocative shapes such as guns and hearts.
Nortse (born 1963 in Lhasa; lives and works in Lhasa) Born in Tibet to Tibetan parents, he still works from within. He explores contemporary issues using self-portraiture and symbols of environmental change and destruction.
Kesang Lamdark (born 1963 in Dharamsala, India; lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland) Born in Dharamsala, India to an accomplished Buddhist teacher, Lamdark moved to a foster home in Switzerland where he currently works from Zurich. His work questions the difference between the sacred and profane by using common materials such as beer cans as a canvas while creating pinprick paintings illuminated by light.
Tenzing Rigdol (born 1982 in Kathmandul, Nepal; lives and works New York, USA) Born into a Tibetan refugee camp in Kathmandu, Nepal, he currently works out of New York City. His work shows the direct immediacy of political awareness explored through the use of collage.
Tsherin Sherpa (born 1968 in Kathmandu Nepal; lives and works in Oakland, California, USA) Born in Nepal, being half Tibetan and half Nepalese, he combines these cultures to his current surroundings of California. Trained in Tibetan thangka painting, he combines traditional symbols and techniques with more modern materials such as gold leaf in the hope to explore the issues faced by the people of today seen both historically and contemporarily.