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BOUNDLESS: Contemporary Tibetan Artists at Home & Abroad

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Fig. 49:
Chungpo Tshering
Charcoal and gold leaf on paper
Courtesy of the artist

Chungpo Tshering's Ahimsa (nonviolent protest) presents a calm, beautiful image that belies the harsh subject of the work. A monk sits in meditation next to a can of gasoline, his upper torso transformed into a swarm of fluttering butterflies. The self-taught artist specifically uses charcoal, a medium produced through fire, to render an image of self-immolation. The smoothness of the depicted forms contradicts the corporeal violence of the protest. The calm, static pose adds to the determination of the figure's self-sacrifice for the sake of the entire Tibetan community.