online version

5. MARCH 2016



CONTACT: Annie Lazar 917.279.4119 or for interview, press viewing, opening reception and additional images.


Tibetan Artist Tashi Norbu Participates in Asia Week 2016

New York, NY -- Tashi Norbu, a versatile contemporary visual artist will be featured in an exhibition at Tibet House New York called BRIDGING REALMS: Contemporary Tibetan Art featuring contemporary works connected by Tibetan cultural and philosophical thought March 11 – May 10, 2016. Through paintings, mixed media and photography, the artists in this group show rely on the provocative and paradoxical aspects of Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy and the idea of the “middle way between extremes” such as embracing contradiction and reconciling polarities. An opening reception will be held at Tibet House New York Gallery on Friday, March 11, 6–8pm at 22 West 15th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues.

BRIDGING REALMS is presented in participation with Asia Week NYC 2106. Asia Week, now in its seventh year, is a broad celebration of Asian art ranging from classical antiquities to contemporary works including sculpture, ceramics, textiles, paintings and photography. Norbu, who has been commissioned to produce works for the private office of the 14th Dalai Lama, is among only a handful of contemporary artists to be featured during Asia Week. The other artists in the show are: Sonam Dolma, Ngawang Jorden, Tara Lobsang, Tenzin Phuntsok, Passang Topgay, Sarah Rose, Hector Marcel, Gonkar Gyatso, Karma Phuntsok, Rima Fujita, Tashi Lodoe, Peter Makela, Tashi Wangchuck, Konchock Rinchen, and Gina de la Chesnaye.

Norbu, born in the Tibetan Kingdom of Bhutan and emigrated in 2000 to Europe, completed his Tibetan Thangka painting training at the Institute of Tibetan Thangka Art under the guidance of renowned master, the late Ven. Sangye Yeshe. He also studied at the Saint Lucas Academy of Visual Arts in Ghent, Belgium where he began to seamlessly fuse traditional Tibetan and Buddhist forms with strong influences from western icons and concepts aiming to -more- page 2/Tashi Norbu Asia Week give a voice to Tibetan culture under threat of extinction. Thangka painting, a centuries-old art form, requires years of rigorous and immersive training including both technique and Buddhist scriptural study.

"My paintings are born out of inspiration from both traditional Buddhist iconography and modern art. They are neither a religious offering or in any way a defamation of that holy iconography. I'm inspired to merge traditional Tibetan images with practices in western modern art to confirm that that both can not only exist, but also thrive, simultaneously," said Mr. Norbu.

Norbu's work has received acclaim from Robert A.F. Thurman, the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University who described them as, “very powerful.” Aei Wei Wei, a noted Chinese artist and activist, said, “He (Norbu) is an outstanding painter (whose work portrays) freedom, beauty, and a transcending experience."

Norbu’s Be The Flower, not the Bee - mixed media: paper cuts, self-made scriptures, Dutch souvenirs, acrylic, 110 x 80 cm is part of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection. His work has also been collected by the Trace Foundation in New York City and he has shown his work in Europe and China. Since 2010 he has worked in his own art studio called "9 Pillars" located in Wormer, a village outside of Amsterdam, Holland. Norbu is also a sculptor, the author of a children’s book, publishes Happinez magazine on-line and off-line, and has co-authored several books and documentaries.

Pictured above:

If alive, Songtsen Gampo - mixed medium on Canvas, acrylic, Tibetan scriptures, raw pigments and gold paint 50x50 cm

“Here the China National Expressway 6 is about to crush a lifeboat holding two Tibetan characters, one of whom is balancing the Apple logo in an outstretched hand,” said Norbu.

Bridge-ing the gap - mixed media, 213 x 130 cm (in frame)

“Here the Tara presented in her exact classical Buddhist measurements,” said Norbu. “The Erasmus Bridge of Rotterdam is superimposed in its exact relative measurements depicting the harmonious intersection of East and West.”


Tibet House US was founded at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who at the inauguration in 1987 stated his wish for a long-term cultural institution to ensure the survival of Tibetan civilization and culture, whatever the political destiny of the six million people of Tibet itself. For more information, go to Asia Week New York is a collaboration of top-tier Asian art specialists, major auction houses, and world-renowned museums and Asian cultural institutions in the metropolitan New York area.  For more information, go to