“𝐁𝐡𝐮𝐭𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, 𝐀𝐬𝐡𝐚 𝐊𝐚𝐦𝐚 𝐖𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐢, 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐡𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐛𝐚𝐨 𝐆𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐚𝐢𝐩𝐞𝐢, 𝐓𝐚𝐢𝐰𝐚𝐧”
By Bhutan Today
Bhutan’s foremost contemporary artist, Asha Kama Wangdi, opened his solo exhibition in the De Ming Gallery, at the prestigious Dr. Sun Yat Sen National Memorial Hall, in Taipei, Taiwan on April 29, 2023.
The exhibition, titled “Sacred Present” features works by the artist, who is the founder of VAST Bhutan, and the recipient of the National Order of Merit (Gold) in 2010.
The paintings featuring mandalas, the Buddha, and sacred dances, in the artist’s unique, recognizable style and vivid palette, are meditations on spiritual awareness and transcendence.
Born in 1958, Kama Wangdi received 10 years of formal training in Thangka painting, and then went to Kent College of Art and Design, Maidstone, England. In 1998, he founded VAST Bhutan in Thimphu, as a safe space to teach art, cultivate new artists and promote contemporary art education. VAST Bhutan was also the The National Order Merit (Gold) in 2016 and celebrated its 25th anniversary on April 7,2023.
Asha has had a massive impact not only in the promotion of Bhutan’s contemporary art, but also in the lives of hundreds of youths. Contemporary artists in Bhutan, as well as many others cite him as an inspiration and pillar of support in their own lives, including Gyempo, whose own solo exhibition opened at Tansbao Gallery, Taipei last week.
A seminar was held to mark the opening, with speakers Professor Liu Guowei, researcher and Director of the Department of Calligraphy and Painting at the National Palace Museum, Taipei and Professor Li Yuyuan, an assistant professor in the Department of Buddhist Studies of Dharma Drum College of Liberal Arts, Department of Fine Arts and Creative Arts, Huafan University, Taipei.
Bhutanese contemporary art is having a moment in the international world, with exhibitions of several artists being held in Europe beginning with Brussels since October 2022, as well as increased interest from galleries across the world for Bhutanese art.
Jill Lu Director at Tansbao Gallery said,“We have spent two years preparing Asha’s second solo exhibition in Taiwan, and we are very happy that this exhibition has received a lot of attention and love from many important collectors. As the first overseas contemporary gallery to work with Bhutan, TANSBAO Gallery will continue to work with artist Asha Kama to plan overseas exhibitions and continue to support the development of emerging artists in Bhutan.”
Jill Lu, who has been promoting Bhutanese art regularly for some time now, is an admirer of Bhutanese contemporary art, particularly those by Asha Kama