訶莎•卡瑪 Asha Kama
“Breaking boundaries through Art 透過藝術打破陳規”， Asha勇於突破傳統唐卡圖像與度量的藝術框架，以豐富的色調和詩意的構圖，建構出虛實相生的意象，細膩寫意的線條，勾勒出佛像莊嚴靜謐的祥和神韻，大膽奔放的筆觸層層堆疊出壯闊無垠的空間感，帶給觀者撼動人心的視覺感受。畫作多以佛陀為主體，一生以創作千幅佛陀為志，期盼透過「千佛之旅」向佛法致敬；新系列的作品則以各式儀軌法舞、轉經輪及曼陀羅為題材，將佛教儀式中的各種元素轉換為當代藝術的獨特語彙。
Bhutan, the Thunder Dragon Kingdom, is a sacred land of Buddhism that peacefully sits on the Himalayas. With Asha Kama as the pioneer who merged Western modernism with traditional Thangka painting techniques, the country of happiness now has a new flag flying in the wind of art.
“Breaking boundaries through Art”, it’s not something found only in altars at home, nor does it only have one form. This is also the core concept of a group of artists in Bhutan who free themselves from the traditional grid system of Thangka painting. Utilizing vibrant colors and poetic layout, these artists create a mixture of abstraction and realism, giving Buddhism art a new face. Buddha appears in most of Asha’s works; the path-breaker of modern Buddhism art is determined to make a thousand paintings for Buddha to show his respect. Even in a few simple lines, you will still find yourself amazed by Buddha’s solemnness. Layers of hues create a spacious effect for the paintings, taking you onto another timeless journey. Nevertheless, Asha’s new series of paintings feature Tibetan Buddhism ritual dance, prayer wheels and mandalas.
Karma Wangdi, known fondly as Asha Kama, was born in 1958 in Dagana, Bhutan. Asha graduated from National Handicrafts Design Centre in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, where he trained to be a professional Thangka painter. He then went to Kent Institute of Art & Design in the UK, and was among first few artists of his country to receive art education aboard. After his return, Asha infused his aesthetic innovation into Bhutan’s art field, creating a new way of expressing Buddhist spirit on canvas. In 1998, Asha founded VAST with his friends (Voluntary Artists Studio Thimphu), an organization that aims at grooming artists and promoting contemporary art education. In 2010, Asha was awarded National Order of Merit (Gold) by His Majesty the King of Bhutan and took it as a blessing in his contemporary art journey.
Asha is renowned in Bhutan, and has been widely invited to India, Korea, Singapore and New York for exhibitions. His works are collected by the Royal Family of Bhutan and luxury hotels. At the invitation of Jill Lu, the founder of Tansbao BhutanArt Gallery, Asha is going to hold his first-ever overseas solo exhibition “Lingering in Gold” this March in Taipei, Taiwan. This collection of his 30 newest works is inspired by golden palettes, the color symbolizing eternity in Buddhism, and presents his interpretation of this fascinating Buddhist world.