Media only: Amanda Williams 202.633.0271
Public only: 202.633.1000

April 27, 2010

WHAT: “Asia After Dark: Tibetan Twilight” after-hours event to feature art making with contemporary artist Gonkar Gyatso
WHEN: Thursday, April 29; 6:30-10:30 p.m.
WHERE: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, S.W.
WHO: Gonkar Gyatso, contemporary Tibetan artist

The Sackler Gallery will host renowned contemporary artist Gonkar Gyatso at the “Asia After Dark: Tibetan Twilight” after-hours event, Thursday, April 29, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Gyatso will lead guests in creating a “Communal Peace Collage” that will combine Tibetan iconography with imagery from popular culture, meld tradition with contemporary notions of identity and society and express hope for the future.

Guests are invited to create large-scale collages with Gyatso by affixing their own personalized Tibetan prayer flags to silhouettes in the shape of a seated Buddha drawn by Gyatso. Participants can personalize their own prayer flags by drawing, stamping and applying stickers.

A video presentation exploring Gyatso’s artwork will be on view in the activity room throughout the evening.

Gyatso (b. 1961, Lhasa, Tibet) studied fine art in Beijing and London. His highly acclaimed mixed-media works explore identity, society and the future, juxtaposing the sacred and the secular and the traditional and the contemporary. Combining drawings, Buddhist imagery, Tibetan and Chinese characters, news clippings and mass-produced stickers, Gyatso creates a unique visual vocabulary. His intricate compositions challenge embedded ideas, freeing new avenues of exploration for the viewer.

Gyatso’s artworks have been exhibited in museums and biennials worldwide, including the 53rd Venice Biennale and the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia (both in 2009). His works are in museums such as the Newark Museum in Newark, N.J., and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in South Brisbane, Australia. He is the founder of the contemporary Tibetan art gallery, The Sweet Tea House, in London.

“Asia After Dark” is an after-hours series at the Freer and Sackler Galleries held three times a year in the spring, summer and fall. Each event is themed and features works of art, Asian cuisine from area restaurants, specialty cocktails, creative art activities, live performances and music entertainment from emerging DJs or music groups.

“Asia After Dark” is open to ages 21 and up with proper ID.

“Asia After Dark 2010” will continue July 15 with “Bhangra Night” featuring Bhangra queen DJ Rekha and Sept. 23 with a sneak preview of the exhibition “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit