Join contemporary Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso in a conversation to explore his internationally recognized art. Gyatso is best known for mixing Buddhist iconography with pop imagery to examine the complexities of defining identity when different cultures simultaneously coexist and conflict. His most recent work, Buddha’s Picnic, is a modern shrine filled with mass-produced Buddhist devotional objects including electric prayer wheels, neon-colored Buddha statues, and flashing Lotus lights.
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's work 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.
Iranians recently took to the streets to protest economic conditions in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s city of birth. The rare protests would eventually spread to several cities across Iran, and grievances would also be directed at the political establishment, as well as the country’s involvement in Syria and elsewhere in the region. Yet, unlike the mass protests following the 2009 elections, the urban middle class in Tehran by and large stayed home, and the country’s political system appears to be safely intact for the time being. What was different this time? How deeply felt are the concerns? What is the appropriate response from the U.S.? President Trump’s initial reaction was criticized—to some Iranians, U.S. advocacy is seen as a “kiss of death” that may discredit their cause. However, President Obama was also criticized for his tepid response to the 2009 protests. Should the U.S. comment at all? Lastly, what will the impact of the protests be on Iran’s foreign policy and the region?
Join us for a discussion with Trita Parsi on Iran at this crucial juncture.
Nowruz, the Persian New Year, marks the beginning of spring. Discover the spirit of Nowruz with traditional music, dance and crafts from Central Asia and Iran.
Co-presented by Pardis for Children
The U.S. and North Korea have faced off in an uneasy truce since the end of the bitter Korean War that caused 1.2 million combat deaths.
Today, Kim Jong Un’s headlong pursuit of nuclear missiles capable of striking the continental U.S. has put him on a collision course with the U.S. and its allies, alienated China and frightened the world.
The Trump administration has sent mixed signals on negotiating with North Korea. In September, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. is exploring talks with Pyongyang, and in December, declared “we’re ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk,” and “to have the first meeting without preconditions.” However, President Trump has questioned the value of negotiations, saying Tillerson is “wasting his time” exploring possible talks with North Korea.
Washington has never had formal diplomatic relations with Pyongyang. Occasional high-level visits -- by Secretary of State Madeline Albright in 2000, and former Presidents, Jimmy Carter in 1994 and 2010 and Bill Clinton in 2009 -- produced no lasting improvement in relations. South Korea’s sunshine policy -- a decade of economic engagement by successive progressive governments -- failed to achieve a lasting thaw in relations with Pyongyang. And most analysts are skeptical that the North-South “Olympic Talks” and joint women’s hockey team are harbingers of a diplomatic breakthrough on the nuclear issue.
In 1994, as tensions on the Korean Peninsula neared a crisis point, Robert Gallucci negotiated a landmark “Agreed Framework” deal with North Korea that halted its plutonium enrichment program and allowed U.N. inspectors into the country.
A decade later, after the revelation of a secret North Korean uranium-based nuclear program, Christopher Hill helped negotiate a Six-Party Joint Statement in 2005 that combined a North Korean commitment to abandon its nuclear program with an American security guarantee not to attack or invade North Korea.
Why did these deals not work out? What is it really like to negotiate with North Korea? Is diplomacy a viable option for dealing with a millennial dictator armed with nuclear weapons? How have recent nuclear negotiations, particularly those with Iran, impacted potential talks with North Korea?
Join us for a special program with two distinguished diplomats who have each negotiated key agreements with North Korea. The Asia Society Policy Institute is pleased to host a discussion with Ambassadors Robert Gallucci and Christopher Hill, moderated by Daniel Russel, who as President Obama’s Special Assistant for Asian Affairs and later Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific Affairs dealt extensively with the North Korea challenge. Based on their extensive firsthand experience, the panel will discuss lessons learned, and review the prospects and pitfalls of negotiating with North Korea in 2018.
Are human beings hard-wired to be perpetually dissatisfied? It’s a provocative question – and one that was put recently to the author Robert Wright, who teaches about the place where religion meets evolutionary biology and religion. Wright’s answer? In a word, Yes. He says that because evolution rewards the pursuit of pleasure, human beings are almost hard-wired to be unsatisfied: "We are condemned,” he says, “to always want things to be a little different, always want a little more." Wright’s latest best-selling book, Why Buddhism is True, suggests that Buddhist practices can, in effect, rewire the brain, to overcome a host of anxieties and emotional pain that afflict so many people. "I think of mindfulness meditation as almost a rebellion against natural selection," says Wright. "And Buddhism says, 'We don't have to play this game.'"
It’s a fascinating book, a fascinating argument, and a fascinating nexus of neuroscience and ancient religious practice.
As part of the Asia Society “Buddhism and Beyond” season, join us for a special event with Robert Wright, in conversation with Juju Chang, ABC News Anchor.
Robert Wright is the New York Times best-selling author of Why Buddhism Is True, The Evolution of God, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Nonzero; The Moral Animal; and Three Scientists and Their Gods, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton, where he also created the popular online course “Buddhism and Modern Psychology.” In 2009, Foreign Policy named him one of its Top 100 Global Thinker. He has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Time, Slate, and The New Republic.
Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News “Nightline”. She has covered several high-profile stories, from interviewing transgender soldier Chelsea Manning to the Orlando nightclub and the Boston Marathon Bombing. She has also profiled newsmakers including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah Winfrey. She joined ABC news in 1987 as a desk assistant and has since risen as a correspondent and anchor for the network. Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science and communication. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation
Keynote Address: Moving Borders: Tibet in Interaction with its Neighbors
Andrew Quintman, Yale University, gives the Keynote Address prior to a day-long symposium which will focus on the topic of the moving borders of the Tibetan cultural zone across the centuries, from the Imperial period to the present, including the Western exploration of Tibet.
The symposium will take place at Asia Society on Saturday, May 5, 2018 from 9:30am-6:00pm
Click here for further details and to reserve tickets.
In conjunction with the exhibition Unknown Tibet: Buddhist Paintings from the Tucci Expeditions on view through May 20, 2018