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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Introduction to the Gedun Choephel Artists Guild: Exploring the Lost and Found

  • Author(s): Cohen, Deborah Beth
  • Advisor(s): Cosentino, Donald J.
  • et al.

This thesis/exhibition book describes two presentations of paintings by members of the Gedun Choephel Artists Guild (GCAG): "Pictures of Gedun Choephel" for the Gedun Choephel Centennial Conference at the Latse Library, November 2003, New York City; and "The Train" for the Peaceful Wind Gallery, September-October 2006, Santa Fe, New Mexico. These two shows introduce the Gedun Choephel Artists' Guild's earliest work and represents some of the first generation of Tibetan artists to produce contemporary art from inside Tibet. The discussion includes an overview of history of the groups forming and organization, and the political, cultural and artistic influences embedded in the work. These exhibitions provide an opportunity to enter into dialogue with artistic language, points of view and tactics of the Gedun Choephel Artists Guild. Trained in art schools in the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the 1980s and l990s, the artists employ modern and post-modern era international contemporary art theories into their practices. Contemporary Cultural Studies discourses that deconstruct totalizing notions of conditions and circumstances of people in crises further illuminates the discussion, reinforcing the sense of urgency when considering work that embraces the complexities and complications posed by cross cultural exchanges and catastrophe.

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