Prayer Man



1 of 3 digital prints with artist taking on different persona with bandaged head. Nortse’s triptych of Prayer Man LIV.2010.130.7.1, Big Brother LIV.2010.130.7.2 and Auto Man LIV.2010.130.7.3 has the self portrait as the focus. Self portraiture is an important new area of practice and is one completely disassociated from traditional Tibetan painting genres. His vivid and arresting images touch on universal qualities and concerns and particularly focus on his enquiries into the loss of tradition, there is also reference to his father injured during the Maoist regime, in the bandaged heads of Nortse's portraits. Visually, Nortse’s language is peppered with references to Tibetan heritage particularly in the intensity of the colours used in his digital prints, which hark back to the brilliance of the crushed semi-precious stone pigments of the Tibetan thangka. There is also an acknowledgment of colonial area photography that helped enhanced the early 20th century western understanding of the Tibetan as a pious stereotype. Nortse is concerned with seeing beyond these stereotypes and visualising the complexity of Tibetan identity.