GONKAR GYATSO
b. 1971, Lhasa, Tibet. Lives and works in London, UK.

Gonkar Gyatso’s youth coincided with the period of the Cultural Revolution in China when vast quantities of art and cultural monuments were destroyed, and traditional Tibetan art forms — most of which were tied to religion — were forbidden. While studying Chinese calligraphy in Beijing, Gyatso became aware of the distinctiveness of his heritage and after graduating, moved to Dharamsala, India, where he studied traditional Tibetan thangka (scroll painting), before moving to London. Gyatso founded the Sweet Tea House in 1985, which became the first Tibetan avant-garde artists’ association.