Life Lessons #4: Tsherin Sherpa & Wang Gongyi | Innovation through Tradition

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Online via Zoom

Organized as part of AAA’s twentieth anniversary, Life Lessons is a new series that examines models of education led by artists. We ask: What was the most influential lesson they learned in school? And how have they, in turn, passed on what they learned about forms of knowledge and care to their students or communities of learners?

Scheduled for spring 2020 to spring 2021, Life Lessons presents online and offline conversations and workshops with artists and art collectives who teach at universities, build educational programs at arts organizations, and run their own schools. Each session addresses their unique teaching methods.

The fourth session invites Tsherin Sherpa and Wang Gongyi, artists who were trained in the traditional painting styles of Tibetan thangka painting and Chinese ink painting respectively, and have incorporated these techniques into their contemporary practice as well as  their years as instructors. In this session the artists will discuss their early education, enduring interest in traditional methods, and how these methods and spirit have influenced their later artistic practice and their approach to teaching.



Tsherin Sherpa
 began studying traditional Tibetan thangka painting with his father, renowned thangka artist Master Urgen Dorje Sherpa, when he was twelve years old. In 1998, he moved from Nepal to California, where he worked as a thangka artist and instructor at several Tibetan Buddhist Centers throughout the state. After two decades in the US he moved back to Kathmandu in 2018 and founded the Himalayan Art Initiative, a space for students to learn traditional thangka art. Throughout his career, Sherpa has used traditional techniques and motifs he learned from his father to explore the hybridization of cultures he experienced as part of the Himalayan diaspora. His recent return to Nepal has also provided him with the opportunity to more directly collaborate with traditional artists.



Wang Gongyi
 began her career as a teacher after receiving her master’s degree from the Printmaking Department at Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China Academy of Art) in 1980. She stayed on with the department as an instructor and returned as an associate professor in 1992 after studying art and art education in France. She has been teaching independently in her studio in Portland, Oregon since she moved to the US in 2001, taking on students of all abilities. During this two-decade period she has continued to produce her own work reflecting the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest where she now calls home, particularly in her ongoing series Windsor Blue.

This program is organized in collaboration with Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive and Asia Art Archive in America. Life Lessons is part of AAA’s ongoing research about the role of academic and alternative pedagogy in the development of modern and contemporary art in Asia and beyond.

Tsherin Sherpa was born in 1968 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Sherpa immigrated to California in 1998 and began to develop his own style, using vibrant colours on flat surfaces, reinterpreting traditional tantric motifs, symbols and colours, and exploring his diasporic identity. Sherpa has participated in exhibitions in the US, Europe, and Asia, including the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Australia in 2015, the Kathmandu Triennale in Nepal in 2017, the Yinchuan Biennale in China in 2018, and the Yokohama Triennale in Japan in 2020.

Wang Gongyi was born in Tianjin, China, in 1946. In 1986, she was invited by the French Ministry of Culture to study art and art education, and take part in exhibitions in France. She moved to the United States in 2001. In recent years Wang Gongyi has become known for her ongoing series Windsor Blue, watercolor paintings that combine her love of literature and the natural world, all executed in her signature blue pigment.

This event is part of the AAA Learning and Participation Program, supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited and C. K. and Kay Ho Foundation.

Images:
1. Tsherin Sherpa, Metamorphosis, 2020, 39.5 x 53 in, acrylic and ink on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.
2. Wang Gongyi (王公懿), Melisma 韵律, 2018, watercolor on Chan-Yi Xuan paper, 37 × 67 3/10 in. Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Arts.

ALL KEYWORDS

20th century, abstract art, Abstraction, Access, acrylic, acrylic painting, Afghanistan, Africa, AIDS, Alternative Space, American History, american revolution, Animation, Anthology, anthropology, Architecture, Archive, art, Art Administration, art and society, art criticism, art history, art writing, Artificial Intelligence, artist book, Artist Books, artist's book, Artists Books, artist’s book, asia, Asia Art Archive, Asia-Pacific Triennale, Asian American, asian american art history, asian politics, Auction, Auctions, Australia, autobiography, Automation, Autonomy, avant-garde, Bangladesh, Beijing, Bhutan, Biennial, Big Tail Elephant, Bookbinding, Books, Brooklyn, Brunei, Buddhism, Burma, Butoh, Cambodia, Canton Express, care-giving, cartography, Catalogue, Censorship, Central Asia, ceramic art, ceramics, Chance, charcoal, Chengdu, China, Chinatown, chinese, chinese artist, Chinese-American, cities, civil rights movement, climate, collage, Collecting, collection, Collections, Collective, Collectivity, colonialism, commercial art, Communism, community, Community Art, Composition, conceptual art, conceptual photography, Conservation, contemporary, contemporary art, culinary arts, cultural criticism, cultural heritage, cultural identity, cultural nationalism, Cultural Revolution, cultural studies, cultural theory, culture, Curating, Cutlural Revolution, cynical realism, Dance, Design, desire, developing countries, Dhaka Art Summit, Diaspora, digital, Digital Archives, digital art, digital poetics, digital print, Displacement, DNA, Documentary, Documentation, Domestic Labor, Drawing, east asia, Economics, Education, Emigration & Immigration Studies, encyclopedia, environment crisis, environmental art, EPOXY, essays, etching, ethnic group, ethnic violence, ethnicity, ethnogenesis, ethnography, exhibition, exhibition histories, Exhibition History, Experimental Music, family, Family Archives, Family Images, Feminism, feminist theory, Festivals, fiber, fibre art, Fiction, Field-recording, Film, Fluxus, Folklore, Form, Foundations, Fukuoka Triennial, Gender, Genetics, Geography, ghosts, global capitalism, globalization, Godzilla, Graphic Design, Graphic Novel, group exhibition, Guangzhou, Gutai, Gwangju Biennale, heneng, histories, history, Hong Kong, hong kong S.A.R., humanities, Identity, identity politics, imagined realities, Imaging, Imitation, immigrant, in situ, independent art space, Independent Publisher, Index, India, indian, indian art, indigenism, Indonesia, Infrastructure, ink, ink and colors, ink painting, ink-painting, Installation, installation art, Institution, interactive art, Internet, internet art, Iran, iranian, islam, Island, Japan, Japanese American, jiang tiefeng, keywords, Khmer Rouge, Korea, korean, Labor, Land, Land Art, Language, laos, late imperial china, Leadership Camp, Lecture, Lhasa, Li Zhensheng, liberalism, Libraries, Library, literary criticism, literature, liu shaohui, Live Art, Live Performance, Locality, Madagascar, Malaysia, Manananggal, Map, mapping, maps, media, Memory, Mexico, Middle East, Migrant Workers, Migration, Miniature Painting, Minimalism, minjung movement, Minority Demographic Studies, mixed media, mixed-media, MOCA, Model Opera, modern art, Modernism, modernity, mongolia, Monuments, mourning, Moving Image, multi-media art, multiculturalism, multimedia, multimedia art, multiple artists, Murals, museum education, Museum studies, Museums, Music, muslim, Myanmar, Myanmar (Burma), mythology, nationalism, Nations, Nepal, net art, New Enlightenment Movement, new media, New Media Art, New York City, North Africa, nostalgia, oil, oil painting, Oral Histories, Organization, orientalism, painting, paintings, Pakistan, Pakistani, participatory, pattern, Pearl River Delta, peasant painting, Pedagogy, people, Perennial exhibition, Performa, Performance, performance art, Philippines, photo installation, photograph, photographs, Photography, Pidouhui, political pop, politics, Pond Society, Pop Culture, Pop Music, Portraiture, post colonialism, post-feminism, post-modernism, postcolonialism, postmodernism, Preservation, print, printmaking, prints, Propaganda, Protest, Public Art, Public Space, Publication, Publishing, Queer Art, race, Realism, religion, Research, Residencies, Revolution, Saudi Arabia, Sci-Fi, Science, Sculpture, Secrets, Shamanism, shanghai, Singapore, Site Specific, slavery, Small Press, social histories, social realism, social sciences, social stratification, social theory, socialism, Socialist Realism, socially engaged art, sociology, sociopolitical, solo exhibition, Song Ling, Sonic Art, sound, Sound Art, sound installation, South Asia, South East Asia, south korea, Southeast Asia, space, spirituality, Sri Lanka, stereotypes, structural film, Sungari Auctions, Surveillance, System, Taiwan, technology, technology and spectatorship, Television, text, textile, Thailand, thangka, The, the Middle East, The Philippines, Theater, Tibet, Tibetan art, Time, Time-Based Media, Tomato Grey, trade, Tradition, traditional art, trama, Translation, triennial, Tunisia, turkish, uncertainty, Under the Influence, United States, united states of america, Unity, urban planning, Urbanism, USA, Utopian, Uyghur, Vampires, Video, Video Art, Video Game, Vietnam, Violence, Virtual Reality, visual arts, visual culture, VR, War, water color, Water Rights, watercolor, watercolour painting, Wikipedia, woman artist, women, women artist, women artists, women's studies, wood, woodcut, woodcuts, Workshop, writing, WWII, Xinjiang, yunnan school of painting, Zhang Peili, Zhejiang Academy, Zine

ARTISTS, CRITICS, CURATORS, AND OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

Aisha Khalid, Aki Onda, Aki Sasamoto, Alexander Keefe, Alexandra Chang, Alexandra Munroe, Alf Chang, Ali Van, Amy Lien, Amy WOOD, Annysa Ng, Anthony Tino, Anthony Yung, Arin Rungjang, art history, art institutions, artist interviews, Ashley Billingsley, Ashok Sukumaran, Bahar Behbahani, Bahar Behbani, Bani Abadi, Bani Abidi, Barbara London, Beatrix Pang, Belinda Q. He, Benjamin Moskowitz, Beth Citron, Betsy Damon, Bing Lee, Birgit DONKER, Boon Hui Tan, Boris Groys, Brinda Kumar, Cai Guoqiang, CAMP, Cao Fei, Casey Tang, Chang Chao Tang, Chang Yuchen, Chen Chieh-jen, Chen Tong, Chen Wei-ching, Chen Xiaomei, Chihoi, China, Chitra Ganesh, Chris Wu, Christoph NOE, Christopher Ho, Christopher K. Ho, Christopher Phillips, Chương-Đài Võ, Cici Wu, contemporary art, Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Cosmin Costinas, David Smith, Desire Machine Collective, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dinh Q Le, dmp editions, Dooeun Choi, DREAMER FTY, Ei Arakawa, Eleanor Heartney, Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Enzo Camacho, EPOXY Art Group, Erin Gleeson, Eugene Wang, exhibition history, Fang Lu, Farah Wardani, Fei Dawei, FENG Yuan(馮原), Franklin Furnace, Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez, Fully Booked, Furen Dai, fwf, Gaku Tsutaja, Gao Shiming, Gianni Jetzer, Glenn Phillips, Go Hirasawa, Guan Xiao, Hajra Waheed, Hammad Nasar, Heman Chong, Herb Tam, Hiroko Tasaka, Hitomi Iwasaki, Ho Tzu Nyen, Hồng-Ân Trương, Howie Chen, Hsu Chia-Wei, Huang Chien-Hung, Huang Hua-Chen, Huang Po-chih, HUANG Xiaopeng, I-Hua Lee, Iftikhar Dadi, Il Lee, Ingrid Chu, Interference Archive, Jaeyong Park, Jaishri Abichandani, Jane DeBevoise, Jean Shin, Jean-Hubert Martin, Jen Hoyer, Jen Liu, Jennifer Davis, Jewyo Rhii, Joan Lebold Cohen, Joanne, John Pirozzi, John Tain, José Maceda, Julian Ross, Jun Yang, June Yap, Kaho Albert Yu, kate-hers RHEE, Katherine Grube, Ken Lum, Kim Yong-Ik, Kimia Maleki, Kit Yi Wong, Koki Tanaka, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Laurel Ptak, Lê Thuận Uyên, Lee Kit, Lee Mingwei, Lee Weng Choy, Lesley Ma, Levi Easterbrooks, Li Ming, Li Ran, Li Shi, Li Xiaofei, Liang Jianhua, Lin Yilin, Linda Huang, LinDa Saphan, Lisa Ross, Liu Ding, Liu Shiyuan, Louiza Ho, Lynn Gumpert, Lyno Vuth, Maika Pollack, malaysia, Maline Yim, Mao Chenyu, MAP Office, Margaret Lee, Margo Machida, Mariam Ghani, Martha Wilson, Marvin Taylor, media art, Meghan Forbes, Meiya Cheng, Mel Bochner, Miao Ying, Michelle Wong, Michelle Yun, Midori Yoshimoto, Ming Fay, Minoru Yoshida, Miwako Tezuka, Moe Satt, Morgan Wong, Mukaddas Mijit, Murtaza Vali, Museum of Unknown, Nadim Abbas, Naeem Mohaiemen, Nate Hun, new media, Nico Baumbach, Nikhil Raunak, Nonny de la Peña, Nora Taylor, nos:books, Ocean Leung, Onejoon Che, Ou Ning, Pad.ma, Pak Sheung Chuen, Pan An-yi, Park Chankyong, Passenger Pigeon Press, Patty Chang, photography, Pi Li, Polit-Sheer-Form Office, Prem Krishnamurthy, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Deshu, Qiu Zhijie, Rabbya Naseer, Rania Ho, Raqs Media Collective, Rebecca Karl, regionalism, Reiko Tomii, Richard Vine, Rina Banerjee, Risha Lee, Rob Smith, Roslisham Ismail a.k.a. Ise, Ruijun Shen, Ryan Lee Wong, Saadia Toor, Sabih Mohd Ahmed, Sadya Mizan, Sam Hart, Samita Sinha, Samsom Young, Samson Young, Sareth Svay, Sean Anderson, Sen Uesaki, Shaina Anand, Shanta Rao, Sharmini Pereira, Shauba Chang, Shen Xin, Shiraga Kazuo, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Simon Leung (梁碩恩), Simon Wu, singapore, Sming Sming Books, Sohl Lee, Son Ni, Song Dong, Sopheap Pich, southeast asia, Stephanie Comilang, Stephanie H. Tung, Stephen Teiser, Steve Locke, Su Hui-Yu, Su Yu-Hsien, Sung Hwan Kim, Sunghee Lee, Svetlana Kharchenkova, Tabaimo, Takahiko Iimura, Takako Tanabe, Takeshi Ikeda, Tammy Nguyen, Tang Kwok Hin, Taro Hanaga, Teresa Kwong, The Dunhuang Foundation, The Otolith Group, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tiffany Chung, Tishan Hsu, Tobias Madison, Tom Looser, Trần Minh Đức, Tsherin Sherpa, Uli Sigg, Umber Majeed, video art, Việt Lê, Vivian Sming, Wang Gongyi, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jing, Wang Wei, Wang Xu, Waterfall, William LIM, Work on Work, Wu Shanzhuan, Xen Nhà, Xiaoyu Weng, Xie Xiaoze, Xin Wang, Xu Bing, Xu Tan, YANG Jiechang, Yang Wang, Yin Xiuzhen, Ying Kwok, Yoon Hwan Bae, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Yu Cheng-Ta, Yung MA, Zhang Hongtu, Zhang Peili, Zheng Shengtian, Zhenzhen Qi, Zhou Tao, Ziying Duan, Zoe Butt