Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Shrines in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

Reflections on Gonkar Gyatso's "Buddha's Picnic"


Public lecture by Melissa R. Kerin | Washington and Lee University, Lexington, USA

Seminarraum 1 des Instituts für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7, 1090 Wien


In Buddha’s Picnic, Tibetan artist, Gonkar Gyatso, has created a fully immersive and community-minded installation that asks viewers to engage the space through sound, taste, feel, and sight. This paper analyzes this shrine construction – an assemblage of Buddhist “kitsch” including electric prayer wheels and brightly lit Buddha sculptures alongside images of Xi Jinping and Buddhist monks – within the context of actual shrine forms and functions within the Tibetan cultural zone. Gonkar’s work provides a lens through which we can understand the development of the role of mechanization and mass production in the creation of contemporary shrines.




Judith Starecek
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
4277 43502