ROCI Tibet Research Guide


This guide provides links to digitized or online materials related specifically to ROCI TIBET. Materials provided in this guide are for reference and research purposes only. For reproduction requests, email the archives.


Rauschenberg found it difficult to create works for Tibet because the Tibetans “have that total respect for all things. . . . There is no hierarchy in materials. . . . I thought they were so close to my own sensibility that I think that was the most difficult show I had to make.” The exhibition, held in December 1985 at the Tibet Revolutionary Hall in Lhasa, included sculptures constructed primarily with found objects from junkyards in Florida. Rather than donate a work of art to the people of Tibet, which had no cultural institutions to receive it, Rauschenberg donated video equipment.


This is a series made for ROCI TIBET, part of the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange project, and exhibited at the Tibet Revolutionary Hall in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1985. The works are sculptural and primarily made from found objects. The following year, a related editioned work was produced at Graphicstudio, USF Institute for Research in Art, Tampa.

View select ROCI TIBET artworks (RRF website)
View artwork checklist (PDF)


Archival Documents
Rauschenberg's writings related to his trip to Tibet.

View select digitized archival materials (PDF)


Exhibition catalogue for the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange: ROCI CHINA, held at National Art Museum of China, Beijing, November 18–December 5, 1985; China Lhasa Tibetan Exhibition Center, December 2-23, 1985. Exhibition brochure (China and Tibet) with essay by Donald Saff, text by Wu Zugang, poem by Laba Pingcuo, previously published essay by Robert Hughes, and previously published statement by Rauschenberg.

View catalogue (PDF)


Documentary Photographs
Documentary photographs including installation images, travel snapshots and other images related to Rauschenberg’s trip and the ROCI TIBET exhibition.

View select digitized documentary photographs (PDF)
View digitized snapshots, folder one and folder two (PDFs)


Oral Histories
Oral history transcripts of individuals involved in ROCI.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Press release and press clipping for ROCI TIBET are with ROCI materials.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Rauschenberg's Photography
Contact and slide sheets for photographs taken by Rauschenberg during his travels in Tibet.

View black and white contact sheets (request digitization)
View 35mm slide scans and slide pages (request digitization)


Raw and edited footage of Rauschenberg’s ROCI-related travels.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Other Materials (not digitized)
The majority of archival materials related to ROCI are not yet digitized and must be accessed onsite at the Foundation. Comprehensive information on these collections is found on the Archives Collections webpage. To find listings on related materials once on this page, scroll to the desired collection, download the finding aid PDF, and keyword search for "ROCI."

Below is a list of recommended collections to search. Email archives for help or questions.

  • Audiovisual Collection
  • Charles Yoder records related to the Rauschenberg Studio
  • Chun-Wuei Su Chien papers
  • Donald Saff records on Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI)
  • Photograph Collection
  • Robert Rauschenberg papers
men outside

Rauschenberg and others during ROCI TIBET, held at Revolutionary Exhibition Hall, Lhasa, 1985. Photo: Thomas Buehler