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The Painter from Bumdeling

Gyempo Wangchuk, a 32 years old man from Bumยญdeling, Trashiyangtse gave up education at a very early age. He later joined in Rigยญsum Goenpa and studied Buddhism. Rigsum Goenยญpa was the place where he found his destiny to beยญcome a painter.

He spent six years in National Institute Zhorig Chusum (Thirteen Arts and Crafts) where he practicalยญly learnt about traditional paintings. After graduating from Zhorig Chusum, he collaborated with Volunยญtary Artist Studio Thimphu (VAST). At VAST, he learnt contemporary knowledge and shared traditional arts to others.

Gyempo now owns an Art Gallery at Changzaยญmtog, Thimphu which he started six months ago. His concept of art is based on amalgamation of both contemporary and tradiยญtional. He said,โ€ Art gallery runs as per my expectation which gives more imporยญtance to the culture and traditions of our country rather than profit.โ€ I aim at bringing happiness and peace through my paintยญings, he added

Instead of using chemiยญcals for paintings in adยญvanced world of today, Gyempo uses traditional methods; natural colors exยญtracted from stones, sands, branches and roots of trees. His paintings are purยญchased by the non-Bhuยญtanese and he earns good income. Gyempo sold his highest painting at Nu 5 hundred thousands and the least at Nu 30,000. โ€œThe prices of his paintings are less as compared to others ,โ€ he said.

Gyempo pointed out, โ€œArt is not given much imยญportance in our country.โ€ Lack of support from his families and friends demoยญtivated him in the beginยญning but later with support from his uncle Karma and from VAST, he could set up the business.

Although there is no competition in Bhutan, Gyยญempo works hard to comยญpete in international arena with the aim to showcase happiness and peace of the country through his paintยญings and said that he feels proud to represent Bhutan.

In 2012, he received 1st prize in creativity and inยญnovation skills during the 16th Annual National Deยญsign and Art competition, organized by Royal Textile Academy. This year he was selected to represent his art in the International Art Competition (I.A.C), orgaยญnized by Taiwan Internaยญtional Artists Association.

Unlike in the past where art was given importance, Gyempo feels that art may deteriorate if there is no support. He said that if support is rendered to traยญditional artists, then it can stay as well as to promote and preserve the culture and traditions of our counยญtry without any uncertainยญties.


By Karma Chezom

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