The Hotel infers an in-between place of stay during transit. To the artist, it also implies relational, historical and identical significance, but this needs to be sustained through physical engagement. This is the motivation behind The Hotel.
The photographs revolve around Dakpa’s family’s hotel business in Gangtok, Sikkim. The disjuncture he increasingly felt over the 12 years that he was away from home is invoked in the series. In The Hotel Dakpa’s family work together to upkeep the hotel. Given the family’s migration due to the annexation of Tibet, Dakpa views the labour of his family in the hotel brushing up against an idea of survival where repetition births rituals disjointed from introspection of history.
The photographs in The Hotel speak to a state of return from outside to subjects who live within – to accumulate meaning through layers and associations, experience how they nourish a space to make it an abode, to examine, gather, connect and coalesce a flux of temporal existence.
Tenzing Dakpa (b. 1985, Sikkim) is an alumnus of Rhode Island School of Design with an MFA in Photography (2016) and College of Art, New Delhi with a BFA in Graphic Design (2009). He is a second-generation Tibetan.
In 2018, The Hotel was shortlisted for the Mack First Book Award and won the Photobook Award at the Singapore International Photography Festival. The Hotel was published by Steidl in April 2020.
Dakpa’s works have been exhibited at art galleries and institutions globally, including Europe, America and Asia.