Gonkar Gyatso is a Tibetan born British artist who moved to London in the late 90‘s on scholarship to Central St. Martin‘s College of Art and Design. His unique style combines traditional Buddhist iconography with Pop Art and influences from Pop Culture.
Much of Gyatso’s work centres around the reproduction and reinvention of Buddhist iconography and the geometry and aesthetic approach of traditional Tibetan thangka painting. Skilfully weaving western and Tibetan cultural constructs and influences, Gyatso translates Buddha images posed in traditional thangka-influenced compositions into pop imagery that satirises world politics and the mundaneness of life, while creating a space for the coexistence of different cultures.
Gonkar Gyatso’s work comes out of a fascination with material and pop culture and a desire to bring equal attention to the mundane as well as the extraordinary, the imminent and the superfluous. These contradictions are often found in the same piece. His work can be very silly, uncanny, and even ironic and at the same time comes out of concerns that are shaping our times. As his own experience has been one that reflects a kind of hybridity and transformation, his work also holds this quality.
His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), The City Gallery (New Zealand), The Institute of Modern Art (Australia), the Rubin Museum of Art (New York) the National Art Museum of China (Beijing), the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (Scotland), the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), Burger Collection (Switzerland), the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam (Netherlands), and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (Australia), Additionally he has participated in the 53rd Venice Biennial (Italy), the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane (Australia) and the 17th Sydney Biennale (Australia). His work is held internationally, in public and private collections.