Yaks, Yetis, Yogis

Tibet in Comics
  • 14 July – 10 November 2013

    Cover of Green Lama (No. 1)

    Spark Publications

    Levitating monks and mystical masters, gentle yaks and fearsome yetis, mighty monasteries and lonely mountain peaks – these western stereotypes of Tibet can be found in scores of comic books.

    The legendary land on the roof of the world has been a source of inspiration for comic artists for more than 60 years. Superheroes such as the Green Lama, Doctor Strange and Thunderbolt acquire their supernatural forces through the teachings of wise Tibetan monks. Scrooge McDuck, recovering from a nervous breakdown, goes in search of the paradisial Shangri-La, a land without money. Even Buffy the Vampire Slayer retreats to Tibet where she hopes to find inner peace. The Tibet of comics is full of clichés and absurdities.

    This exhibition looks at the origins of these popular caricatures of Tibet and explores our western fantasies about this still little-known country. Displays of more than 80 comic books – from Europe, the United States, India, Japan, China, and from Tibet itself – invite visitors to browse at leisure and immerse themselves in the mysterious alternative world of comics.




  • Highlights of the exhibition


    Organised by Rubin Museum of Art, New York City

    Website of the exhibition “Hero, Villain, Yeti - Tibet in Comics”, which was shown in the Rubin Museum of Art in 2012 and on which this exhibition is based on

    The comic book artist Cosey is represented with original drawings in the exhibition. On the Night of the Museums (7 September 2013) at Museum Rietberg he talks to comic expert Cuno Affolter (in German).

    Furniture by INCHfurniture

    Interested in purchasing the furnishings (by INCHfurniture) used in the exhibition? 
    These can be acquired with a 35% discount after the closing of the exhibition (from 11 November 2013). Reservations and conditions in the museum shop.