Gonkar Gyatso

Artist Biography

Tibetan-born Bristish Artist Gonkar Gyatso

Gonkar Gyatso

Gonkar Gyatso is a Tibetan born British artist. Born in 1961 in Lhasa, Gonkar moved to London in the late 90’s on scholarship to the Chelsea School of Art and Design, where he attained his MA in Fine Art. (Gyatso studied Chinese Brush Painting in Beijing, attaining a B.F.A. and Thangka (traditional Tibetan scroll painting) in Dharamsla.) He has been living and working in the West ever since; and is the founder of the Sweet Tea House, a contemporary art gallery dedicated to showing Tibetan work, based in London. Gyatso was the recipient of a Leverhelm Fellowship in 2003 and was an artist in residence at Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Gyatso’swork has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), The City Gallery (New Zealand), The Institute of Modern Art (Australia), the Rubin Museum of Art (New York) the Chinese National Art Gallery (Beijing), the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (Scotland), the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), Burger Collection (Switzerland), the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam (Netherlands), and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (Australia), Additionally he has participated in the the 53rd Venice Biennial (Italy), the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane (Australia) and the 17th Sydney Biennale (Australia). His work is held internationally, in public and private collections.


1999-2000     M.A. (distinction) Fine Art. Chelsea College of Art & Design, London.
1980 – 84    B.A. Hones, Traditional Chinese Painting. The Department of fine art, Central Institute of Nationalities, Beijing, China.

Selected Solo Exhibition
2013-14    Pop Phraseology: Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong
Meditation on Irony: Savannah School of Art and Design. Gallerie Pfriem Lacoste, France. Travelling to: Moot Gallery, Hong Kong
2011-12    Three Realms: Institute of Modern Art and Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
2008    Art Dubai 2008, Dubai. “Gonkar Gyatso retrospective”
2004    The Sweet Tea House – Contemporary Tibetan art gallery, London. “Tibetan Word – art of communication”
2003    Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, Oxford. Leverhulme fellowships and Artist residence show.
1999    The Sontsen House Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland. “Contemporary Tibetan art – Gonkar Gyatso”
1987    The Revolution Exhibition Hall of Tibet, Lhasa, Tibet. “Modern Tibet Art of Gyatso”

Selected Group Exhibition

2014    108 Begegnungen Museum Angewandtkunst. Frankfurt, Germany
Immortal Present: Art and Asia. Berkshires Museum. Pittsfield, MA USA
Janela, Migrating Forms and Migrating Gods. Kochi Muziris Biennial. Kerala, India
Insights Into the Wemhoner Collection  Berlin, Germany
Metaphysical. Mimmo Scognamiglio, Milan, Italy. Curated by James Putnam
Tibet India, New Beginnings. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, NY USA

2013    Freedom, just another word… Mass MoCA. North Adams, Massachusetts USA The Weight of History. The Singapore Art Museum. Singapore
2012    Museum of Fine Art Boston, Boston (MA), USA. “Shambala”
2011    Hood Museum of Art, Hanover (NH), USA. “Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond”
2011    Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, UK. “Drawn from Life”
2010    Mimmo Scognamiglio Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy. “Identity Theft” Curated by James Putnam
2010    Rossi Rossi, London, UK. “Works on Paper”
2010    Songzhuang Art Center, China. “Scorching Sun of Tibet”
2010    Rubin Museum of Art, New York, USA. “Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond”
2010    Space Station, Beijing, China. “World of Thousands”
2010    17th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. “The Beauty of Distance, Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age”
2010    Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Philadelphia, USA. “Mapping Identity” curated by Carol Solomon and Janet Yoon
2010    Galarie Sherin Najjar, Berlin, Germany. “A Man is not a Tree”
2010    Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia. “The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art”.
2009    Jan Murphy Gallery, Bisbane, Australia. “Two voices”
2009    China Art Projects at the Depot Gallery, Waterloo, Australia. “Tempting God”
2009    The 53rd Venice Biennalem Venice, Italy. “Making Worlds”
2009    Tibet Art Gallery, Temple, Amsterdam. “Tibet Art Now: on the threshold of a new future”
2009    ASIA ONLUS, Rome, Italy “Tibetan Visions: Contemporary Painting from Tibet”
2008    Thyssen-Bornemilsza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria. “A Question of Evidence”
2008    Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China. “Return to Lhasa”
2007    Christopher Farr Courtyard Gallery, Los Angeles. “Past & Present – Tibetan art -13th to 21st century”
2007    The Sweet Tea House, London. “Buddha and Christ-a sense of togetherness”
2007    Rossi & Rossi, London. “Consciousness and Form-Contemporary Tibetan art”
2007    Avanthay Contemporary, Zurich,Switzerland. ” Hobby Horse – Yeah, Yeah Dada asia”
2007    ZKM/Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany. “Thermocline of new Art Asian Waves”
2007    Neuhoff gallery, New York.  (organized by Anna Maria and Fabio Rossi ). ” Tibetan encounters Contemporary meets tradition”
2006    Rossi & Rossi, London. “Oh! What a beautiful day-Peter Towse and Gonkar Gyatso’s shared visions”
2006    CU Art Museum & The Colorado Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder. “Waves on the Turquoise Lake: Contemporary  Expressions of Tibetan Art”
2006    Wereld Museum Rotterdam, Nederland. “Tibet”
2006    Courtauld Institute Of Art, London. Culture bound-East wing collection VII
2006    Visual Art Gallery, Emory University, Atlanta, USA. ‘Rethinking Tradition-Contemporary Tibetan artists in the West”
2005    Rossi & Rossi and The Sweet Tea House-Contemporary Tibetan Art Gallery, London. “From classic to contemporary-visions From Tibet”
1999    Lyon City Gallery, France. “Limbers Due Tibet”
1998    The Reality Room Gallery, Washington. “Visions From Himalaya Contemporary Tibetan Art”
1989    The National Art Gallery, Beijing. “The National Avant-Garde Fine Art Exhibition-89”
1985-87    The Sweet Tea House, Lassa, Tibet. “The Sweet Tea House Artists Group Show”

TBD    Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore: Artist in Residence
2003     The Leverhulme Trust, London. Leverhulm fellowships and Artist residence at Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.
2001    Southern Art. Hampshire, England. Year of Art 2000 Artist’s residence.
1996    Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design, London Guest Artist scholarship.
1989-91    Centre Academy of fine art & Crafts, Beijing, China. Fellowship, for contemporary crafts design.
Top of Form
2010    New York Public Library, USA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, USA.
2008    Queensland Art Gallery / gallery of Modern Art, Australia.
2008    White Rabbit Collection, Australia.
2007    Crocker Art Museum, California, USA.
2007    The Burger Collection, Switzerland.
2007    White Rabbit Gallery, Australia.
2007    Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China.
2007    Wereld Museum, Rotterdam, Nederland.
2006    The Newark Museum, New York, USA.
2006    Rossi & Rossi, London.
2005    Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.
2004    Immigration and Diversity Museum, London.
2003    The Sweet Tea House-Contemporary Tibetan Art Gallery, London.