'Bringing Tibet Home' Screening in London, with director Q&A

There will be screenings of Bringing Tibet Home, followed by a Q&A with Tibetan filmmaker Tenzin Tsetan Choklay, at the Prince Charles Cinema on Sunday 25th January at 4:15 p.m. (tickets can be found here), and at the Horse Hospital on Monday 26th January at 7:00 p.m. (tickets can be found here)

Bringing Tibet Home is a deeply personal feature documentary that follows, from start to finish, New York-based Tibetan contemporary artist Tenzing Rigdol while he creates his most ambitious installation yet: Our Land, Our People. Inspired by his father's dying wish, to once again set foot on Tibetan soil, Rigdol sought to transport native soil from Tibet through Nepal to Dharamsala, India, the heart of the Tibetan exile community and home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Choklay films Rigdol's physical and emotional journey to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges as he navigates the border controls of three countries to smuggle out 20 tonnes of Tibetan soil. The aim was to create a unique installation that would bring a piece of Tibet to the heart of the Tibetan exile community and allow Tibetan exiles to engage with the artwork with the inherent political and cultural connotations that the installation represented. Bringing Tibet Home is a deeply inspiring portrait of human resilience at its most tested, and a profound example of enduring creativity through times of political turmoil.

Upcoming screenings in the UK:
18-19 February: Eden Court, Inverness
8 March: Hebden Bridge Picture House
11-12 March: Mac, Birmingham

Faiza Butt in conversation with Nour Aslam

SATURDAY, 24 JANUARY 2015, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

ROSSI & ROSSI
27 DOVER STREET
LONDON W1S 4LZ

Rossi & Rossi is pleased to be hosting a talk between London-based Pakistani artist Faiza Butt and South Asian art specialist and curator Nour Aslam. The talk will introduce Symmetrical, an exhibition of intricate works and portraiture the artist that draw on the most basic of human questions: our sense of mortality coupled with the overwhelming will to survive.

Nour Aslam is Head of Gallery Development for Art15, having previously served as a specialist in Modern & Contemporary South Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish art for London auction house Bonhams. Nour graduated with a BA in Art History and Visual Arts from New York’s esteemed Sarah Lawrence College.

The event is free to attend.

Image: Faiza Butt, Ghost 3, 2014, ink and acrylic on polyester film, 84.1 x 59.4 cm (33 x 23 1/2 in).

Palden Weinreb: Veiled Realities, 6 February - 19 March

6 FEBRUARY–19 MARCH 2015

Rossi & Rossi
27 Dover Street
London W1S 4LZ

Tibetan-American artist Palden Weinreb presents Veiled Realms: a new departure into three-dimensional works that explore the ambiguous nature of space.

Since his childhood, Weinreb has incorporated parts of Tibetan Buddhism into his base of inspirations. Regarding his artistic activities, he notes, "In some ways, I have created a sense of personal spirituality by mining my experiences and background. Borrowing from Tibetan Buddhism, New Age theory, utopian modernism and science, I look for overlapping and collective ideas and forms that speak to me". What results from his artistic practice is something that seems to exist in a place beyond the realm of human understanding. "I think the general goal in my work is to transcend the viewer's perception", he says, "and take it to a space or existence that lies beyond our comprehension".

Weinreb's new body of three-dimensional works adopt concrete motifs from Tibetan Buddhism including offering bowls, sutras and pagodas, as well as abstract forms that seem to resemble vessels, containers and lighthouses. These works appear to attempt to usher our consciousness into a realm beyond the façades of our existence.

Image: Palden Weinreb, An Empty Host, 2014, mixed media, height 274 cm (108 in), diameter 86 cm (34 in).

Faiza Butt: Symmetrical, 12 December - 28 January

Extended to 28 January 2015

ROSSI & ROSSI
27 Dover Street
London W1S 4LZ

Due to a strong and positive reception, we are pleased to announce that Faiza Butt's solo exhibition, Symmetrical, has been extended until 28 January 2015. Symmetrical features intricate works and portraiture by contemporary Pakistani artist Faiza Butt that draw on the most basic of human questions: our sense of mortality coupled with the overwhelming will to survive.

Inflamed by the geopolitical panorama of our time, Faiza Butt pours this charge directly into her art. Erosion (2014), a new series of portraiture by Butt, is the artist’s response to the brutality and violence of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. The series uses the human face to highlight the absurdity of such comprehensive destruction: each face acts as a map to tell stories, establish cultural references and mark emotional trauma. She has consistently used images of children (her own or found images) in her practice, as children bring into focus an immediate and visceral response to the human tragedy of conflict.

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Butt was trained as a Mughal miniaturist at the National College of Arts in Lahore. The meticulous labour and conceptual rigour of such training can be seen in her current practice, where images are built up through a methodical and pointillist technique that hovers between the purdakht method of traditional Mughal miniature painting (the application of tiny marks of colour) and the pixels of a photograph to generate saturation of tone and colour. Using photographic images from the news media as a starting point for her creative projects, Butt works constantly to narrow the gap between photography and drawing in order to find a way to marry the two mediums. The artist’s pixilated images thus resemble photographs, but are handcrafted out of a labour-intensive mark-making.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by renowned curator and art historian Dr Sona Datta (Head of South Asian Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, USA), accompanies the exhibition.

Image: Faiza Butt, Erosion 4, 2014, ink-jet print and ink drawing on archival cotton paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 ¾ x 8 ¼ in).

Bringing Tibet Home UK release

The first European theatrical release of documentary Bringing Tibet Home takes place this month in London. The documentary will be shown at the following locations:

FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER, 7PM: The Cinema, Goldsmiths (Univeristy of London), LONDON SE14 6NQ (tickets)

SATURDAY 13 DECEMBER, 3PM: The Proud Archivist, 2–10 Hertford Road (Regent's Canal), LONDON N1 5ET (tickets)

SUNDAY 14 DECEMBER, 7.30PM: Platform, 2nd floor, Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, LONDON E8 3RL (tickets)

MONDAY 15 DECEMBER, 7PM: The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, LONDON WC1N 1JD (tickets)

dir. Tenzin Tsetan Choklay, US/India/Nepal/S. Korea 2013, 82:00min

Bringing Tibet Home is the pivotal, poignant and deeply personal debut feature documentary by Tibetan filmmaker Tenzin Tsetan Choklay. The film crew follow from start to finish the New York based Tibetan contemporary artist Tenzing Rigdol while he creates his most ambitious, political and crucial installation yet, the Soil Project. Inspired by his father's dying wish, to once again set foot on Tibetan soil, Rigdol transported soil from Tibet through Nepal to Dharamsala, India, to bring a piece of Tibet to the exiled community who are unable to return to their homeland. Choklay films Rigdol's physical and emotional journey to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges as he navigates the border controls of three countries to smuggle out 20 tons of Tibetan soil. A deeply inspiring portrait of human resilience at its most tested, and a profound example of enduring creativity through times of political turmoil.

Erbossyn Meldibekov in 'From Almaty to Astana' at Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain

5 DECEMBER 2014–1 MARCH 2015

Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg
67076 Strasbourg Cedex
France

Despite the complexity of both its history and its current political situation, Kazakhstan has always been a fertile ground for the development of intensive and high-quality artistic activity. The current project aims to showcase the diversity and significance of the positions of contemporary Kazakhstani sculptors with a selection of works that has never before been displayed in France. The ten selected artists of international renown, including Maori artist Erbossyn Meldibekov, are all between 40 and 50 years old. They have in common the questioning of Kazakhstan's history and popular culture and the developing of a vision that is by no means complaisant and is driven by a remarkable creative vitality.

Image: Erbossyn Meldibekov, Borderline, paper and cardboard, 126 x 94 x 120 cm (49½ x 37 x 47¼ in).

Konstantin Bessmertny at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

26 NOVEMBER 2014-31 JANUARY 2015

10 Chancery Lane Gallery
G/F, 10 Chancery Lane,
Soho, Central,
Hong Kong

In his newest series of works entitled STIR FRY, Bessmertny traverses our connected and disconnected worlds between East and West within the backdrops of European settings. Within a stir fry the elements are still distinguishable. They don’t melt together as in a stew. They remain as distinct items within a contained vessel. Bessmertny likens his life living in Asia with the diversity of peoples and cultures all within the global city of Hong Kong to a Stir Fry. The English, the Scots, the Cantonese, the Mainlanders, the Japanese, the Russians, the Koreans, etc. make for an interesting mix of both global exchanges set within very traditional cultures that can be both nationalistic or clinging to traditional cultural expressions. This may be considered as the forms in which traditional culture is expressed, how it forms part of the identity and heritage of a traditional community, as well as how they are passed down from generation to generation. Within this series Bessmertny touches upon the Scottish Referendum, the Hong Kong protests, the American ideologues all intertwined within a parody of provocative thoughts and ideas. Bessmertny’s paintings have the appeal of a grandiose Baroque masterpiece yet the cutting edge of a modern-day samurai. He touches on many a taboo subject yet the works still hold an air of traditional elegance.

Image: Konstantin Bessmertny, Swimming Before Breakfast N. VI, 2014, oil on wood.

Rossi & Rossi London reopens 4 Dec 2014

4 DECEMBER 2014, 5–8PM

Rossi & Rossi
27 Dover Street
London W1S 4LZ

Rossi & Rossi are pleased to announce that they will be opening their new London space on 4th December at 27 Dover Street.

The opening will feature a rare ca. 1200 Tibetan thangka of Buddha Mahavairocana. The thangka is a particularly fine example from the early period of Tibetan art production, and is evidence of the artistic exchanges between Tibet and Pala India during this period. To compliment this exquisite work of art, three contemporary Tibetan artists, Kesang Lamdark, Tenzing Rigdol and Tsherin Sherpa, have each been commissioned to produce a work inspired by the 13th century thangka. Executed using different techniques and mediums, the works demonstrate the variety and vibrancy found in contemporary Tibetan art, as well as the close connection between classical Tibetan art and contemporary practice. These contemporary examples will be shown alongside the thangka as well as other rare classical Himalayan works of art, demonstrating an exciting fusion of past and present artistic traditions and influences.

Image: Installation View

Kesang Lamdark in 'Material Analysis' at ShugoArts

15 NOVEMBER–20 DECEMBER 2014

5th floor, 1-3-2 Kiyosumi
Koto-ku
Tokyo 135-0024

Material Analysis features works by Teppei Kaneuji, Lee Kit and contemporary Tibetan artist Kesang Lamdark, who each incorporate a wide range of materials and techniques to create their works of art. Lamdark produces works using PVC plastic, lightboxes, as well as found objects and beer cans. His brightly coloured works often have a sombre focus, such as expressing his concern for the subjugation of Tibetans and the increasing number of self-immolations by Tibetans since 2009.

Image: Kesang Lamdark, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, 2014, PVC, holographic postcard, 75 x 51 cm (29 ½ x 20 in).

Shane Cotton: The Voyage Out in Rossi & Rossi Hong Kong

ROSSI & ROSSI HONG KONG

Yally Industrial Building, Unit 3C
6 Yip Fat Street
Wong Chuk Hang
Hong Kong

Marking New Zealand artist Shane Cotton'a first solo show in Hong Kong and second solo presentation with the gallery, The Voyage Out demonstrates the artist’s ability to defy easy categorisation—in search of new ideas and forms, he consistently reinvents his own painting practice.

Part of a hugely influential generation of contemporary Maori artists, Cotton has played a central role in shaping New Zealand’s postcolonial discourse. In The Voyage Out, he offers twenty new works on paper, many of which deploy his signature forms of the past few years: ambiguous texts; birds being stretched and warped through space; coloured dots and lines that simultaneously censor his images and create spatial depth; and, most contentiously, mokomokai—preserved Maori heads that were traded in the nineteenth century. One by one, the paintings transform into proto-Surrealist spaces of invocation, in which seemingly unrelated forms from past and present are thrown together against stormy skies. But these works also present significant developments within Cotton’s practice. First, at the centre of several paintings, there is the introduction of a diamond; inside, the artist creates abstract forms that hark back to British painter Ben Nicholson. He also finds new depths with his ‘smoke’ paintings, whose ambivalent surfaces are punctuated by a wobbling and unpredictable three-dimensionality.

Cotton opens up the spaces of paintings to find what lies behind them. Yet the resulting breakthroughs are less about staging Surrealist disorientations than they are about discovering unseen dimensions. Thus, they refer as much to quantum physics as to traditional Maori cosmology. The artist also wears his influences openly—like Nicholson, he borrows freely from American painter and photographer Ed Ruscha, American conceptual artist John Baldessari and New Zealand’s greatest painter, Colin McCahon. But Cotton’s works create a unique vision: a collision of colonial traumas, histories of modernism, contemporary reflections on ideas of ‘place’ and the nature of our existence.

Image: Shane Cotton, #Diamond II, Acrylic on Steinbach paper, 100 x 70 cm (39 1/2 x 27 1/2 in).