Gyempo Wangchuk


About Gyempo Wangchuk

Passion for art is what has been with me since my childhood. 

My formal education in school did not work out beyond primary school. I was too young then to realize the reason but now I do and perhaps it happened for the right reasons. The only memory I cherish of my school days is winning first place in an art competition when I was 7 years old. 

Life, somehow, continued but I became desperate without a destination. It was a period in which I was unable to evaluate myself. I was like a burning candle left at the mercy of the wind. I was sent to Rigsum Goenpa, a lone monastery, a couple of hours’ walk uphill from my village. Frankly, during my time there, I absorbed more of the traditional arts than the religious texts and recitations. It was at that time I recognized my true interest and started dreaming about my life ahead.

The sole reason I joined the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (School of Thirteen Crafts), Kawajangsa, Thimphu was to chase my passion and dreams. I successfully completed 6 years of training in ‘Lhadri’ (Traditional Painting). Since then, I have been doing what I am good at and certainly, that which makes me happy. My experience in traditional art ranges from scroll painting of Buddhist iconography to wall painting in temples and ‘Dzongs’. I dedicate so much of my time and energy to my work. I do not even intend to seek employment, for ‘art’ is beyond employment. 

For me, art is the simplest and the only language that people all around the globe can understand. Based on the traditional arts, I intend to fit my expressions, imagination, creativity, innovations and thoughts into my paintings, maintaining originality and uniqueness in a style that is close to my heart. I am more than happy if my work receives admiration from others. I am striving to do my best to reach my work to larger audiences.

In 2012, I was awarded the First Prize for Individual Creativity and Innovative Skill Competition held during the First National Zorig Day celebration. Besides my participation in various national art competitions, I also represented Bhutan at the SAARC Artist Camp and Exhibition of Paintings organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka in Bangladesh in 2014. In 2015, I was nominated as assessor for the 12Skills Competition organized by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Thimphu.

 I prefer to use natural paints rather than commercial ones. Natural paints are more authentic and many folds durable than commercial paints.  I intend to research further into extracting paints from natural produce like plants, leaves, bark, etc. I would like to admit that it is laborious but I believe it is how we keep our tradition of art alive so that it can be passed down from generation to generation, just the way it has been handed to us.

Born 1987, from Tashi Yangtse

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