I was just browsing through VAST website and saw the news and poster on the new place and since I could not help in making this new studio…I thought I will put down this feeling I am feeling…with the news of VAST shifting in the new studio. I remember how VAST started out… Our setup was simple but it was yet inspiring. We had just a small room for the studio and most of our weekend classes used to be taken in the Clock Tower! But with the vision of our tutors, VAST grew in numbers as well as the quality and volume of contemporary art.
Later we got a bigger studio. The bigger place was so much better as we had freedom to have our own painting area. We had completed a lot of successful projects in that studio. It was the achievements we had that broadcasted our name across Bhutan and other countries. Since most of the members were students back then, we really used to enjoy our Saturday cooking class where Asha made the most delicious dishes. It was so much fun cooking artistic food. The best part was that nobody complained and the food was always superb.
But then the big studio was not ‘big’ enough for our ‘big and ever growing’ family so we shifted in the attic. Our attic studio used to be a residential place which had a few number of families living in before we moved in. We made the shack into a beautiful studio. Most of us used to bunk school to help in building the studio. We sweated for the studio so the attic studio holds dear to the hearts of all the members who were involved in shaping it. The attic was a place we could call our own. We have lots of memories with the attic…some are good, some bad and some sad.
Like any organisation, we also had our share of ups and downs. We achieved more than we hoped for but on the way we also lost our families. “Some of us grew up, got employed, got married and got ‘bigger responsibilities’ so our contribution to VAST decreased with time. Some of us became independent with art and totally left VAST to venture on our own. Some of us despite wanting to give the maximum to VAST had to go…” Here I am talking about Sir Alan and Tsip whom we lost. They were the true members of VAST. We have lots of treasurable memories from the attic studio, it was in the attic studio that we received further recognition. We made the impossible possible. I remember the giant Dungkar (conch) we made for the 2008 Centenary and Coronation Celebrations. Everyone (including top officials) thought it was impossible but then again…we proved them wrong!
Despite the difficulties and lack of fund, we always always managed to stick together and do well. Even though most of the things were done in the last minute, we always achieved the best. The ‘last minute’ became one of our trademarks and the ‘Spirit of VAST’ our energy.
With this new studio, I feel the wave of new currents of success. I feel that VAST will achieve more and become the centre for the contemporary art in Bhutan. I feel a lot of good things for the new era that we are beginning with this new studio. There is no limit except the limitations of our own! “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt