Transnational Art and the Beginning of an International Cultural Renaissance

Currently, I am finishing up my research with my latest articles and art catalogues. I also have plans to interview one more artist, Tenzing Rigdol, who is based in Queens, New York. I have begun writing the rough draft of my paper documenting the development, impact, and importance of contemporary Tibetan art. Additionally, I believe I have enough research to support my hypothesis of a Tibetan cultural renaissance. This flourishing of culture however is atypical in that it is occurring internationally and transnationally. Tibetan artists are creating contemporary visual displays incorporating both traditional Tibetan elements and other cultural influences from around the world.  Due to the political unrest in the Tibetan Autonomous Region under Chinese authority, Tibetans have sought refugee in Nepal, India, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Australia, and France. Artists adopt the styles of their new home or have access to studying contemporary art, weaving international styles with Tibetan symbolism and creating a transnational art movement.

Not only are there artists working to comment and essentially create contemporary Tibetan culture, but writers, poets, and scholars are also challenging the boundaries of their reality. It is through this amalgamation of cultures that these Tibetans are reproducing their version of reality and most often, giving light to their individual and communal struggles. By continuously observing and displaying what is happening to the creator and their environment, there is a challenge to what their culture views as important. These artists are choosing to include what they believe holds value from their traditions and shared cultural identity in order to adapt to their globalized world. Through this combination of Tibetan ideals and external symbolism, a transnational art and culture is beginning to form.

I am very excited to begin analyzing the chosen artworks and dissect their meanings and symbolism. In order to create a succinct argument, I will have to pare down which artworks will be included in my final paper. My greatest challenge at the moment is choosing which works best exemplify the growing transnational art movement. I am also still working to develop more terminology to properly categorize each artwork and the artist’s style.

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