Lacing Buddhist Threads in Contemporary Art

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Photo of HH Dalai Lama: Jorge Zontal, General Idea. © Courtesy of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Lacing Buddhist Threads in Contemporary Art
Curated by: Davide Quadrio

Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
February 2nd, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Artist talk
Other (outside areas listed)
+31 (0)10 4110144
Tue-Sat 11-6; closed Mon and during installation
Admission fee: €5 / €3 with discount


The event Lacing Buddhist Threads in Contemporary Art is organized in the light of Paola Pivi’sTulkus 1880 to 2018, as a transversal event that joins together a set of thinkers so as to draw out just a few rich strands from art and culture, which bind Buddhist history. Shanghai-based curatorDavide Quadrio will lead the audience through the visual narrative depicted in the 17th century Tibetan thangka (painting) portraying Tsuglag Gyatso, the Third Pawo Rinpoche (c. 1567–1630), which references to the origin of the tulku photographic portrait tradition and hangs in the Witte de With galleries as a loadstone for the general exhibition. Expanding on the contemporary history of Buddhism in the West, artist Louwrien Wijers will in conversation with art historian Arnisa Zeqotrace early parallels between pre-Christian iconography, and the Buddha’s image, punctuated by personal reflections on Wijers’ introduction of the 14th Dalai Lama to Joseph Beuys and the European art scene in the 1980s.

Admission fee: €5 / €3 with discount

About Tulkus 1880 to 2018

Aimed at creating a complete collection of portraits and basic information on all the tulkus of the world – who in Tibetan Buddhism are the recognized reincarnations of previous Buddhist masters – from the beginning of photography until today, from all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon, and from all the areas of the world where this religion is practiced, this growing survey has until now collected over 1100 photographic portraits.

Manifesting in a stunning array of forms, from high production color prints to inexpensive photocopied reproductions, and in scales ranging from pocket-size to large format, these images are the same ones commonly treasured in monasteries, hung in private households or shops, or collected by the faithful. These photographs are considered holy by the believers.