“Tibetan Artists Respond” is an exhibition featuring eight artists from India, Nepal and Tibet. The exhibit recently moved from the Rubin Museum in New York to Dartmouth’s Hood Museum, and will be on display there until March 13th.
Juliette Bianco, associate director of the Hood, says that hosting the exhibit it a tremendous opportunity for the college. “It’s the first exhibition of contemporary Tibetan art to ever come to New York and it’s also the first ever to come to Dartmouth College” she explained.
All of the works explore the artists’ relationships with traditional Buddhism, but each artist created unique pieces with different materials and techniques. Bianco explained that this is a type of self-expression, as opposed to the traditional religious expression, and that it has been emerging during the last thirty years as a result of many Tibetans leaving the country to live in places like the U.S. and Europe.
“It shows how artists are looking to traditional forms and Buddhist forms and how they are rethinking being global citizens” Bianco said.
The visiting monks are now working on a sand mandala, which they will complete on Saturday. Mandalas are traditional teaching tools in Buddhism. They signify the relationship between the spiritual and the physical worlds. Once a mandala is completed, it is destroyed in order to express the impermanence of earthly life. This is a sacred form of art and meditation in the religion, and therefore the public making of mandalas was only permitted 22 years ago.
“We’re bringing an opportunity for students to interact with the artists which I think is one of the best ways for students to learn the material” Bianco explained. “I think what is exciting about learning from art is to connect with shared values that are expressed in so many different ways from so many different life experiences. You’re connecting with an individual who may or may not occupy the same space as you but you are in the same space when you’re with their work of art and whatever you bring away from that is meaningful.”