My work celebrates the history and culture of the Tibetan diaspora in India through intimate portrayals of my family, friends, and close relatives. Having been uprooted from one's native home and then planted in a new society, our Tibetan culture has become an amalgam of the past and present. We carry memories and fragments of our history as we navigate the present that is steeped in modern western and Indian influences. I try to understand the way I myself as well as the people around me have adjusted to this new reality. I take inspiration from old family photographs, portraits of friends and family, images on the internet, and images from memory. I juxtapose these influences and manipulate them further to heighten the sense of surrealism that is present in our everyday lives.
I paint on tarp sacks, or Drochak-bhureh (barley sack) as the Tibetan diaspora call it because they are an inseparable part of my childhood in India. Given by the USA to Tibetan refugees, these bhureh were an unmissable sight in Tibetan households, schools, and factories alike. To me, this material bears testament to the way the Tibetan diaspora has planted themselves in a new culture, and undergone changes in their own culture. Through these works, I examine and celebrate the space we have created for ourselves as Tibetans in India.