Born Norbu Tsering in 1963 in Lhasa, Nortse has studied at various schools, including Tibet University in Lhasa, the Central Arts Academy in Beijing and art academies in Guangzhou and Tianjing. Since the mid-1980s, Nortse has been moving between a diversity of mediums - photography, performance, painting, installation and ready-made multimedia compositions and sculpture. The experience the artist amassed resulted in his creation of striking mixed-media works that experiment with forms and imagery from traditional art and culture. His subjects range from landscapes to (self) portraits, from claustrophobic interiors and expansive horizons, from the sacred to the profane.
The works of Nortse address universal concerns through a tightly focused Lhasa (Nortse's home) lens: global warming, environmental degradation, overpopulation, alcoholism among the youth, the erosion of culture and tradition, and the desire to establish one’s own identity in a world of mass media. Given the recent history of Tibet, the artist addresses these issues with an added urgency and poignancy.
Nortse’s works have been exhibited in Go east, a showcase of works from the Gene and Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, in 2015, amongst other solo and group exhibitions in China, Europe and the United States, and are held in public and private collections worldwide.