Thursday, February 24, 2011


Kesang Lamdark

'O Mandala Tantric'

pin-pricked and back lit

plexiglass, LED light & wood

roughly 4 foot square

The above was easily the highlight of the modern Tibetan art we saw the other day while traveling around. This piece is quite bold and might even be eye-popping to some. The museum had it tucked away in a cozy alcove all its own. We have often seen school children and whole classes in this section of the museum with very diligent teachers, and always women, guiding by hand flocks of classes from one fascinating event to another. I've got a sneaky feeling this mandala will be avoided. The "mandala pattern composed of images of skulls and animals, erotic Buddhist art imagery and modern pornography. The work touches upon themes of “debasement of sex in the modern commerce” and the East-West divide over views on eroticism," says art critic Ken Johnson.

The artist, Kesang Lamdark, was born in Dharamsala, India, in 1963 and grew up and schooled (Rudolf Steiner) in Switzerland. After apprenticing and working as an interior architect in Switzerland, he studied art at NY's Parsons School of Design in the early 90s, and received an MFA from Columbia University thereafter. His multimedia sculptures and installations are built from varied materials including metal, plastic, lights and found artifacts, which reflect upon his Tibetan roots and later lifestyle in a more freewheeling Europe and America. He makes his home in Switzerland.