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Buddhas, dragons and horses, oh my! Contemporary art in Bhutan – Terton Gallery interview

COURTESY artradarjournal.com

Bhutan’s contemporary artists are exploring spiritual expression as development creeps towards Shangri-La.

Art Radar spoke with Kelly Dorji (b. Thimphu), star of Indian films and founder of Bhutan’s Terton Gallery, to find out about contemporary art in the remote kingdom and whether the gallery’s artists measure success in terms of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Wedged between India and China, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is one of Asia’s most remote countries. In 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck coined the phrase “Gross National Happiness”, an initiative whereby Buddhist values would take precedence over many of the ‘vices’ found in modern western countries. By 2006, Bhutan gained worldwide attention  when it was crowned the ‘happiest country in Asia’ and the ‘eighth happiest country in the world’ based on a global survey in Business Week magazine.

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“Gross National Happiness” measures the country’s well-being based on economic, environmental, physical, mental, workplace, social and political wellness, instead of the standard yardstick of GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. This alternative, more avowedly spiritual worldview is apparent throughout Bhutan’s culture, including its contemporary art. Continue reading Buddhas, dragons and horses, oh my! Contemporary art in Bhutan – Terton Gallery interview

Survival Camp

VAST Bhutan organized a summer survival camp, which was a part of the annual summer camp held in VAST studio. The interested students and VAST student members from Thimphu participated in the survival camp which was for just one night.
Everyone led by some senior members started their journey in the morning carrying heavy rations up the mountain hill. The camp was mainly organized to polish the skills of the students on how to survive in difficult circumstances. Upon reaching the destination, they stayed in the tents with chill wind outside for a night.

Survival-Camp2 Continue reading Survival Camp