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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Dharamsala owns its first contemporary Tibetan art gallery

April 6, 2010

Phayul, April 03, 2010
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, April 3: Tashi, a Tibetan living in exile, and Sarah, a graduate
in East Asia studies from USA, have teamed up to open Dharamsala's first
gallery at McLeod Ganj devoted to showcasing contemporary Tibetan art.

The town of McLeod Ganj in Upper Dharamsala is known worldwide for the
presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, where he has resided since fleeing
Tibet in 1959. Often called the "Little Lhasa" after Tibet's capital, most
Tibetans live here.

Located in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, this mountain city
was offered as a shelter to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people in 1959 by
the then Indian prime minister after Tibetans fled from China, fearing
political, religious and social persecution by the Chinese Communist

Since then, while struggling to restore freedom in Tibet, Tibetan exiles
here and elsewhere around the world have been constantly striving to
preserve the identity, culture and history of the Tibetan people that are
facing uncertain future in their own homeland.

"We believe that it is essential that the Tibetan society in exile is not
stay and existing, but thriving and engaging with the global community. With
that in mind, we have started this social enterprise, Peak Art," say Sarah
and Tashi

Their "shared passion for the Tibetan culture" and Tashi's experience
running a business in the town shaped the creation of Peak Art.

They say Peak Art was created with the aim to serve the community, and to
inform visitors of the unique and remarkable creativity that the Tibetan
society in exile possess.

"Peak Art provides a venue for artists to sell their work so they are able
to support themselves as they continue to develop their art, and continue to
thrive," says Tashi.

As part of its grand opening function on Friday evening, Peak Art collected
art pieces showcasing works by four remarkable Tibetan contemporary artists
living in exile, including one born in Tibet. The collection includes 14
pieces in various mediums including oil, acrylic, and watercolor.

The four artists Tenzin Dakpa, 25, Lobsang Dorjee, 36, Tenzin Gawa, 26, and
Sonam Wangchuck, 28, were all present at the opening event. While Wangchuk
was born in Tibet, the other three were born in India.

Each artist finds inspiration in different contexts and their art reflects
their individuality and diverse prospective. Tenzin Dakpa's favorite artist
is Leonardo da Vinci and one of his favorite pieces is the Mona Lisa. Tenzin
Dawa was inspired to paint walking through a busy market in Old Delhi.
Lobsang Dorjee is entirely self-taught and works with varied themes, such as
the Dalai Lama and global warming. Sonam Wangchuck is passionate about
painting traditional Tibetan themes; he does so in order to share the
richness of Tibetan Culture with his viewer.

"We understand this community to be a dynamic one, one where new thoughts
and ideas come to the forefront daily," says Sarah, adding "By providing the
artists of this community with empty walls they are able to share these new
and exciting ideas."

As of now, Sarah and Tashi have plan to replace the art exhibition at the
gallery at least once every six weeks.

Peak Art is located on Temple Road bellow Café Nirvana (where TWA's stitches
of Tibet was located) and is open Monday through Saturday 10:00am to 7:00pm.

For more information, write to:
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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