Her Expression: First ever art exhibition by women opens


‘Her Expression,’ the first ever art exhibition by Bhutanese women that opened at the art gallery yesterday saw about 20 female artists showcasing various artwork.

With tender feminine strokes visible in their works, each artist managed to show a part of their world through their paintings.  Some showed their artistic sensibilities with their photography skills and through abstract paintings.

Organised by Voluntary Artists’ Studio in Thimphu (VAST), the exhibition provides a platform for budding, as well as professional, female artists, where most were self-taught and a few studied art.

Displaying her artwork, a blend of traditional and contemporary painting techniques, Zuki Nima said such a platform was important to encourage female artists to come forward.

“People usually feel that female artists can’t do contemporary paintings or bring a new perspective through art,” Zuki Nima said. “The exhibition is about exploring and expressing oneself through art.”

After studying fine arts in Pakistan, Zuki Nima realised how different it was from the way women in Pakistan expressed themselves through art.

“Most of the female artists in Pakistan made strong statements through their art, but here it’s just daily expressions,” Zuki Nima said.

Another artist, Kunzang Wangmo, 21, a college student, said she drew her inspiration from seasoned Bhutanese artists, who use traditional methods in their contemporary paintings.

One of her works included a painting of a woman spinning a yarn with a traditional touch.

“I want to work as a full time artist in future,” she said.

Organiser Asha Karma of VAST said that, with more male artists, exhibitions were mostly male dominated despite women participating.

“Which is why the young female artists wanted to showcase their artwork,” he said.  “The variety and standard of their artwork is impressive.”

Asha Karma said that there were more female artists in the country, but VAST has been able to tap only a handful.

“Such an exhibition will encourage more females to participate,” he said

Despite creativity reaching a new height, art in Bhutan is still searching for a foothold, Asha Karma said.

“Art is something that one can’t hide, one has to keep producing it so that people can see it,” Asha Karma said.

Asha Karma hopes to make this exhibition an annual event and organise solo exhibition of female artists as well in the coming years.

The weeklong exhibition ends on August 21.

By Thinley Zangmo (Kuenselonline)

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