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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan Artist Installs 20 Tonnes of Soil from Tibet in India Exhibit

October 30, 2011

 Dharamsala – Today on Wednesday 26 October, Tibetans in exile will set foot on Tibetan soil. Leading Tibetan artist, Tenzing Rigdol, has transported 20,000 kilograms of soil from Tibet to Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government in exile and more than 10,000 Tibetan refugees. The soil will be spread on a stage where people will be invited to walk and sit as well as express their feelings through a standing microphone. The design of the site-specific installation, titled "Our Land, Our People," comes from the inspiration and interpretation of the Tibetan national flag and the tragic history of Tibet.
In 2007, Rigdol’s father fell ill while living as a refugee in New York. His only desire, to visit Tibet just once before he died, went unfulfilled. It was in his father’s dying wish, exemplifying the exile Tibetans' longing to return to their country, that Rigdol found the inspiration to pursue the project. Through Rigdol’s work, Tibetan refugees living in Dharamsala, who have been separated from their families and are forbidden from returning to their homeland, will have the chance to step on Tibetan soil. For some, it will be the first time in more than fifty years that they have walked on Tibetan soil; for many, born in exile, it will be the first time in their lives.
This groundbreaking installation, which will be live cast at, will enable the displaced to ‘return’ home. Although Rigdol’s work examines the plight of the Tibetan people in exile, it also has wider resonance, exploring the notion of nostalgia, the idea of homeland and how art is intertwined with the political and the social. It also demonstrates the transgressive power of art as an act of defiance. The installation will open on October 26th and end on October 28th.

WHAT: "Our Land, Our People" Art Opening
WHEN: 9am on October 26, 2011
WHERE: Tibetan Children's Village Upper Dharamsala (Basket Ball Ground)
09:00 AM: Inauguration by Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay
09:15 AM: Remarks by the artist Tenzing Rigdol
11:00 AM: Press Conference with the artist Tenzing Rigdol
NOTE: Event will be live webcast at
About the artist: Tenzing Rigdol is a Tibetan contemporary artist whose artwork ranges from painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, digital, to video installation, site-specific and performance art. He has extensively exhibited his artworks throughout the United States in various museums, and also in London, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Israel, Madrid and Mumbai. Rigdol’s artwork is held in museums and collections worldwide and is represented by Rossi & Rossi gallery in London. Additionally, he is also a poet. His poetry books titled “R”—the Frozen Ink (2008), Anatomy of Nights (2011), Butterfly’s Wings (2011) were published by Tibet Writes. He lives in New York.

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