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Veteran Indian-Tibetan filmmaking couple, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s first solo exhibition, Burning Against the Dying of the Light, opened at KHOJ Studios in New Delhi.

Burning Against the Dying of the Light was the first time a range of the artists’ video installations and films were being presented in one venue and under a broad thematic rubric. The exhibition comprised a selection of works that investigated both Tibet’s ongoing political struggle and the transformations that are taking place in the Himalayan region where the artists live, wrought on by deliberate colonial policies, the impact of globalisation, or a combination of the two. Some of these works were created specifically for this show, and others had never been shown before in India.

The title of the exhibition – Burning Against the Dying of the Light – referred to a newly produced, pivotal work within this exhibition, the multi-media installation which examined and contextualised the politics of protest in Tibet, especially in their latest primary manifestation, self-immolations.

Ritu and Tenzing have been making films together for three decades. Their work, which includes several documentaries, video installations and one dramatic feature, has focussed on a number of recurring motifs and concerns. One such subject is Tibet, with which they have been intimately engaged on a number of different levels: personally, politically, and artistically. Through their films, they have attempted to document, question and reflect on the issues of exile, identity, politics, and nationalism that confront the Tibetan people.

The presentation of this exhibition at KHOJ was meaningful not only because of the long relationship between artist and institution and the synergies between each’s core mission, but also because Burning Against the Dying of the Light came at a time where there was a necessity for citizens and artists to raise their voices in the name of humanitarian causes and the protection of basic civil liberties.


For more information on the artists please visit White Crane Films.

In collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.


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