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The six-day exhibition is aimed at sharing artistic ideas and techniques, among others (Photo: Phub Dem)
The six-day exhibition is aimed at sharing artistic ideas and techniques, among others (Photo: Phub Dem)

Of expressions and friendships

VAST Bhutan hosted four Balinese artists and launched the second part of Bali-Bhutan Art Exchange group exhibition at BhutanArt Gallery in Thimphu on August 19 to develop and strengthen friendship between Bhutan and Indonesia through art.

The six-day exhibition is aimed at sharing artistic ideas, techniques, and other elements of an artist’s practice which would help develop creative expression of self-taught artists and enrich artistic expressions. 

Majority of contemporary Bhutanese artists are self-taught. 

The art exchange programmes are seen as means to thinking beyond the national borders and deepen artistic and innovation skills. Exchange among artists is expected to improve goodwill and friendship between the two countries.

Founder of VAST Bhutan, Asha Karma Wangdi, said that young artists in the country were fortunate to have guidance and support of His Majesty The King and their parents. “Our young artists are trying hard. There are opportunities when there is support and goodwill.”

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said that until now the governments had been focusing on political and economic diplomacy. “We need to give importance to cultural diplomacy,to have exchange of arts and crafts, which contribute towards understanding, building friendship, and strengthening diplomatic ties. Arts and crafts encompass important aspects of development. ”

According to Lyonpo, art exchanges help artists from different countries take opportunities and learn some of the techniques to express through creative works and skills. 

An artist from Indonesia, I Ketut Jaya Kaprus, who had been painting for the last two decades, said that good spirit was a must for a creative art.  He said the artworks of Bhutan and Indonesia were different but the idea was the same. “Art is about expression.”

The first part of the exchange programme took place last month. Asha Karma Wangdi and three Bhutanese artists went to Bali. The Prime Minister’s Office funded the travel. 

Founded in 1998, VAST Bhutan has been promoting and facilitating art exchange programmes with various nationalities. 

The exhibition will end on August 24. 

Choki Wangmo

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