Gade points out "In most people's minds, Tibet is an ancient, mysterious and exotic place. The notion of 'Tibet' is a conundrum. When outsiders actually visit Tibet, especially Lhasa, they get culture shock when they see all the pop culture, fast food, rock music, Coke and beer, brand name clothing, Hollywood movies, the nightlife scene, etc. I think Lhasa ought to be renamed Lhasa Vegas."
Paintings from his 'New Buddha Series' and his 'Diamond Series' reflect this culture shock with images of such American iconic pop figures as Mickey Mouse, Spiderman and the Hulk appearing in the centre of traditional-looking works. Gade points out that these figures show up in every corner of the earth. "When I visited a tiny village called Pazi at the base of Mount Xishabangma (8,102 metres) in the Himalayas, the kids there had backpacks with Mickey Mouse on them, and were drinking Coca Cola. That made me realise the incredible power of those ubiquitous emblems of Western culture and Western values."
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tibetan artist Gade has created depictions of the Incredible Hulk, Ronald McDonald, Batman, and Mickey Mouse as the Buddha, in the traditional style of his homeland. From the museum exhibiting his work: