With all the uncertainties looming large, having to close my hotel business and take a hard decision to lay off my staff, this pandemic period really gave me an opportunity to reflect. And like always, I took refuge in art.
I initially started painting on the lids of broken ceramic sauce pots from my hotel during the lockdowns. When Asha Kama (founder of VAST Bhutan and the Project Director for the Paro Airport Beautification & Gallery Project) saw these small marigolds painted on the salvaged ceramic lids, he said they were beautiful and that I must create an installation work using the same medium for the Paro Airport Gallery.
So I picked up my unused hotel plates to be immersed in creating a thing of beauty. As I was working on the plates, I found myself holding and placing them with tenderness and care, the fragility of the ceramic plates naturally seemed to be bringing out that sensibility.
And painting line by line these flowers and petals just flowing from my heart, colors inspired by the sacred marigold representing the illusory nature of everything. Oh, such a deep sense of joy I felt and all the uncertainties just seemed to be empty. I felt, as much as I was trying to create a thing of beauty externally, this feeling that was created in the process, was a thing of beauty after all.
Title: Gatey Gatey (Gone Gone)
Dimension: 244×244 cm
Medium: Conceptual Art on Ceramic Crockery
About the Artist
Art draws me to her and has drawn the way I live life. I remember my mother calling me out again and again to join the family out of the Cooch Behar Palace tour as I was completely lost in all the details, the lines, the motifs, murals, paintings, the creepers, flowers. When I did come out, my mother asked me what it was that kept me in for so long. She tells me, I said, “It was this beauty, all together in one place, and now I want to find it everywhere.” I was 9 years old.
As life unfolded, to find beauty everywhere was baffling and then I crossed paths with VAST Bhutan when I was a high school student. I gradually started understanding the profoundness of art, to look inside my own abilities to create beauty everywhere, even in the mundane, the routine and the everyday.
It has been a blessing for me to be serving VAST Bhutan as the Executive Director. And to know that I have been part of such a special organization and as long as I live, I shall continue to put my whole being to uphold VAST Bhutan’s legacy. A legacy that opens us to create the vast possibilities of what beauty means.
Born 1979, from Thimphu
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