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Kunsang Kyirong

Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now

March 15–October 6, 2024

Photo courtesy of the artist

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Kunsang Kyirong (she/her)

Kunsang Kyirong is a Toronto-based filmmaker and animator who explores themes of memory and immigration, often through a hybrid method that integrates documentary elements within fictionalized narratives. She aims to create stories that feel universal in their themes but from a perspective or cultural view that is unfamiliar to the viewer. 

Her most recent film, Dhulpa, shot inside a laundry facility in Canada, was produced by the Canada Council and won the Jury Prize at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma. She is currently in development for her first feature film, 100 Sunset.

 

ABOUT THE ARTWORK IN REIMAGINE

Kunsang Kyirong; Yarlung; 2020; charcoal animation; 5 min.; courtesy of the artist

This film tells the story of three children who interact with the Yarlung Tsangpo river in different ways following the death of their mother. The river fulfills the children’s physiological and psychological needs as they navigate their loss. They return again and again, each developing their own relationship to the Yarlung Tsangpo, making the river a fourth central figure in the story.

In the film, a superstitious woman says, “The child may have fallen because of the deceased mother’s fixation.” In short, ego is to blame. In Buddhism, the ego can be personified as a demon that hinders spiritual freedom because of fixations that cause harm to oneself and others. The practice of severing this fixation, or “cutting through the ego,” is exemplified by the figure of Machik Labdron, featured in a nearby painting in the exhibition.

 

RELATED RUBIN OBJECT

Machik Labdron (1055–1153); Kham region, eastern Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.563 (HAR 1045)

This object from the Rubin Museum’s collection is presented in the Reimagine exhibition in dialogue with Yarlung, inviting new ways of encountering traditional Himalayan art.

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