Launch of the National Art Fest

Contemporary Art offers an innovative form of expression capable of highlighting Bhutan’s work to balance tradition with modernity. We feel that a nationwide Art Competition will motivate Contemporary Artists to create deep, thoughtful and large bodies of work.

The long awaited project was launched by Her Royal Highness, Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck at the Le Meredien, Thimphu during the certificate awarding ceremony of the Bhutan International Festival on 21st February, 2015.

When VAST began in 1998, one of its ambitious mandates was to reach out to the national art community, providing both professional artists and young artists, opportunities to express themselves and educate those around them about the importance of art for self-expression.

As contemporary art begins to emerge in Bhutan we must seize the opportunity to spread recognition of contemporary art as an art form as well as aid the breakthrough artists in their immersion towards international recognition.

In celebration of His Majesty’s dedication to art, VAST is honoured to launch the annual nationwide contemporary art exhibition and competition to be held in Thimphu every year.

This nationwide call for submissions and exhibition would simultaneously celebrate both the achievements of His Majesty, as well as the birth of modern art under His dynamic leadership.

The National Exhibition and Competition will be open to any Bhutanese person over the age of seventeen. It will be held on the 21st of February onwards, for a period of one month every year. The exhibition will call for submissions from across the nation and ultimately, a jury of national and international personnel will choose three winners to be recognized with, The Khesar Award. And seven runners-up will be awarded with various recognitions from our sponsors.

This nationwide exhibition is to provide contemporary Bhutanese artists the space for display and recognition of their work in an art market dominated by religious artists.

It would serve both as a means of recognition and reward for the winning artists, as well as a venue in which to increase contemporary art appreciation and education in Bhutan. The competition could be the gateway to the birth of contemporary art in Bhutan or building a ground for the creation of a style of its own. 

Contemporary art offers an innovative form of expression capable of highlighting Bhutan’s work to balance tradition with modernity. We feel that a nationwide art competition will motivate contemporary artists to create deep, thoughtful and large bodies of work.

In order to motivate young artists to pursue their passions and old artists to continue painting, we must create both a network of artists as well as an area for successful artists to display and sell their art, making art a career, not just a hobby.

Throughout history, it has been the venues for the exhibition, appreciation, and education of art that have stretched the boundaries of artistic definition and technical skill to new level. People started using the art in little girl boutique, costumes, decorations and so on.

VAST’s community, of senior members feel a responsibility to share their knowledge of art with the rest of Bhutan after working with the strong network of VAST artists for over 17 years.

This national exhibition does not wish to limit the submissions to a specific genre of art or thematic inspiration, but rather open up the field to anyone who wishes to broaden his horizons in the art world of Bhutan and reach to the international community.

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