|Radiant Transmission: |
|Contemporary Masterpieces of Tibetan Buddhist Art|
| 3rd September 2003 to 18th October 2003 |
|In Association with Tibet House Trust, the October Gallery will present Radiant Transmission, a multifaceted exhibition of contemporary masterpieces of Tibetan Buddhist Art and A Long Look Homeward, an exhibition of photographic images of Tibet. These exhibitions, which coincide with a meeting of the International Association of Tibetan Studies at Oxford University, will reveal the rich diversity of Tibetan Buddhist art as this ancient art moves beyond its traditional boundaries and is adapted and sustained by new generations of artists.|
Radiant Transmission is the first major exhibition of modern Tantric art ever to be presented in the UK. This unique style of painting has its origins in the Buddhism of Ancient India,which then travelled northwards to Central Asia, Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia where it developed and took root as the Vajrayana or tantric tradition. This highly esoteric form of Buddhism inspires an eclectic and vibrant art, the primary purpose of which is to communicate the tantric teachings through a vision of enlightenment. Tibet became the heartland of this tradition, from the 7th century until the Chinese communist takeover of the 1950s, but today these teachings flourish widely across the world.
Besides a rich variety of thangka paintings Radiant Transmission will also present a collection of miniature, clay, relief images of deities (tsa-tsa)by Peter and Denise Griffin and a magnificent bronze-cast ritual dagger (phurba) of the deity Vajrakila by Richard Williamson, all UK artists, whose works will join those of the other artists from a wide range of countries, including Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia and India. A balanced mix of 'wrathful' and 'peaceful' deity thangkas have been selected with the help of Robert Beer, one of the foremost western authorities on Tibetan thangkas, and himself one of the artists participating in the exhibition. The exhibition will also feature examples drawn from Beer's personal collection of thangkas, widely recognised to be one of the most important collections of contemporary work to be found in private hands today.
Another feature of the show will be photographic works by Gonkar Gyatso (a Tibetan artist resident in London), and a 3-D computer-generated mandala by Edward Henning, an English artist. The October Gallery has also been working closely with Core of Culture, an organisation dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the world's cultural heritage of dance. Their multimedia presentation will present, for the first time in the UK, rare footage of cham, the Sacred Dances of Tibetan Buddhism, still precariously surviving today in Ladakh. Discussion of all the exhibition's elements will be facilitated by a series of lectures, educational workshops and other events at the gallery. Events, films, lectures and educational
workshops accompany the exhibition.
The photo exhibition, A Long Look Homeward, curated by eleven Tibetans at The Tibet Museum in Dharamsala, India, has been made available by the official Tibetan charity, Tibet House Trust, whose chairperson Mrs. Kesang Y. Takla is the Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe based at the Office of Tibet in London. The photographs record a narrative and visual journey through Tibet's magnificent past: the invasion, destruction and horrors of oppression, followed by hope and rebuilding in exile and ending finally with an optimistic vision of the future of Tibet.