Contemporary Art in Lhasa, a Visual Introduction

News item posted on: March 15th, 2010
Contemporary Art in Lhasa, a Visual Introduction

by Ian Alsop

the-artistsContemporary Art in Lhasa explores the world of the young Tibetan artists who walk the borderline of artistic expression in a fast-changing world. Lhasa is a place which inhabits the imagination of so many people, but where the reality may come as a bit of a surprise. The talk will offer an introduction to the vital contemporary art scene in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and the artists who inhabit it. The presentation will draw heavily upon recent photographs.

Ian Alsop has been traveling regularly to Lhasa since his first trip in 1986, and since 1993 has represented several of the contemporary artists of Lhasa at his gallery in Santa Fe New Mexico. He also wrote one of the first articles on the subject for Orientations June 2007.

Ian Alsop lived in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1970 to 1988, where he eventually learned the Newari language and became a student of Nepalese cultural history. From 1980 he was involved in a project to produce a classical Newari dictionary, which is presently available on-line at He has written numerous articles on Nepalese and Tibetan art and culture in Orientations, Arts of Asia, and Artibus Asiae, and was a contributor to the MacMillan Dictionary of Art , The Art of Tibet: Towards a Definition of Style and the Marg volume on the Art of Nepal. He is also editor of an online Journal, He and his wife Lois own and run a gallery of Asian fine art in Santa Fe, Peaceful Wind, and the associated gallery of Himlayan Contemporary art, PWContemporary now both managed by their son Vajra.

Lhasa artists ca. 2005 – photo by and copyright Lois Conner