Lhakar Diaries Drops in on Art for Tibet

In a town like New York City, art openings are as plentiful as potholes. But a show like Art for Tibet, where artists from around the world donate their one-of-a-kind works for the Tibetan cause, is a once in a year thing. We, at Lhakar Diaries, thought this was a great opportunity to give our readers a glimpse into this inspired (and inspiring) event where Art and Freedom join hands for Tibet.

Above is a short video shot by the Lhakar Diaries team at Art for Tibet, with the help of rising Tibetan filmmaker, Tenzin Tseten. Special thanks to TenTseten for all his help!

In the last few years, along with the Lhakar movement, we have seen a sea-change in the Tibetan artistic world. Whether it be writers, filmmakers, painters or musicians, Tibetans across the plateau are becoming not only more prolific artists, they are quickly becoming key actors in the fight for survival. Risking life and limb to express what is in the hearts and minds of Tibetans, they represent a new threat to the Chinese regime. Their works are eloquent (Woeser), subtle (Pema Tseden) and never fail to challenge the simplistic Chinese views of us Tibetans as mere barbarians. It’s not just the monks you have to worry about now, CCP thugs.

Most recently, writer Dolma Kyab aka Lobsang Kelsang Gyatso (who was arrested in 2005 and is currently serving a 10 and 1/2 year sentence for writing “Himalaya on Stir,” a manuscript discussing Chinese oppression), was awarded the “Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award” by the Independent Chinese PEN Center.

And yesterday, November 4th, Tibetan thangka painter Dorje Lungdup (25), made the ultimate sacrifice and self himself on fire to send a message of protest. With his last breaths he called for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

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The contributions of Tibetan artists are thus obviously priceless in more ways than one. This is why Art for Tibet, and the solidarity of artists outside of Tibet, is so meaningful. With over 50 artists taking part in the event, it was an incredible sight to see so much art from more than 50 acclaimed artists including Shepard Fairey, His Holiness the Karmapa, Mark Borthwick, Ryan McGinness, Melodie Provenzano, Pema Rinzin, ROSTARR, Tenzing Rigdol, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, The Sucklord, and so many more. The message of solidarity was clear: never underestimate the power of art in uniting people.

And here’s the good news: you can still be a part of Art for Tibet with SFT’s online auction, now extended to December 12th! There are lots of new pieces, and lowered reserves and opening bids on many incredible works of art. Find something special for that special someone, or just nab a sweet piece of art for yourself!

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