Free Spirit Festival Free Spirit Festival - celebration of Tibetan art and culture, especially reflecting contemporary life.

Pekar

Pekar was born in Arto, Gaba, in Kham region, Tibet, in 1964. Her father, Lobsang Thugyal, was a well-known traditional sculptor and painter. As a small child Pekar was already using her artistic creativity.

Pekar She joined an art class started by some Chinese artists who were visiting her area in 1984. Impressed with Pekar's art work, the Chinese artists encouraged her to attend an art school. She was soon admitted to the Fine Arts Department of the North West Minorities Institute in Lanzhou, China, where she studied oil painting, sculpture, and design, as well as poetry and philosophy.

She received her Bachelor's degree in Art in 1990 and returned to Jyekundo, Kham.

For the next two years she worked at the Department of People's Art in Jyekundo, designing book covers and translating folk literature.

It was only after her return home from university that Pekar first learnt about the Tibetan community in exile. She then decided to go to India as she felt that there was no way to preserve Tibetan culture in Tibet under the communist Chinese government.

In June 1993, Pekar arrived in Dharamshala. She worked at the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV) teaching art to students and training teachers in basic art instruction. Thereafter, with the help of various Tibetan centres in Dharamshala, she was able to use her artistic talents to create paintings and sculptures depicting Tibetan history and the struggle for a free Tibet.

She has exhibited her works in the Tibetan cultural festival organised by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC in June 2000.

A testimony of Pekar's work is a monument in the Tibet Museum in Dharamshala, which is created in memory of 1.2 million Tibetans who died as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Pekar will present some of her sculptures.