They lined up hundreds strong to touch the dirt. Some fell to their knees, clutching the gritty stuff as though it were a long-lost child. Others lifted it to their lips to savor a taste of the home they left behind decades ago.
The display was the work of New York artist Tenzing Rigdol, 29, who clandestinely trucked in sacks containing 22 tons of dirt from Tibet to Dharamsala to construct his installation. He did not want to disclose details of the soil’s journey, fearful of the repercussions of the act of smuggling. All he would say is that it was a “complicated process that took 17 months.”