Bhutanese artist features in Singapore gallery

Y Art Project in Singapore said it was excited to present Bhutanese artist Galek Yangzom’s first solo exhibition, “Patterned Prayer,” at Gallery II, The Arts House in Singapore on July 21st and 22nd, 2023.

This exhibition is also co-presented by Coinllectibles.

Surrounded by the mountains of the Himalayas and the traditions of her country, Galek Yangzom fostered a desire to give back to her home.

The release said, “Her father’s dedication towards his work during his time in office as the Prime Minister further motivated her to find her passion for art and work towards building a curriculum of art education in Bhutan. As such, Galek has taken inspiration from her rich culture to create pieces that highlight the endless possibilities that can be built from the abundant time-honored art found in Bhutan.”

The exhibition by Galek Yangzom features her paintings that recontextualize the traditional motifs, designs, and patterns that are central to Bhutanese culture. She draws inspiration from nature, Bhutanese architecture, and her own creations. The traditional motifs, derived from natural elements, are considered sacred by the Bhutanese people, who imbue them with a sense of life and spirit. The patterns on buildings and clothes communicate identity, culture, and heritage.

Galek’s paintings explore the academic interaction between colors, the abandonment of strict symmetric rules, and the repetition of Bhutanese architectural norms. She aims to answer questions about the presence of the pattern’s spirit in different contexts outside of textiles and architecture. Bhutanese daily life is full of patterns central to the Kingdom’s culture. In the mountains, the worship of repeating religious motifs is heavily integrated into societal norms. Some Bhutanese even make their entire livelihoods as artisans, crafting and selling these patterned designs to the public. Bhutanese citizens draw confidence from the patterns in the threads that adorn them and take pride in the grand display of their heritage.

Galek Yangzom has taken the motifs, designs, and patterns she interacts with daily–be it from the Kira (traditional Bhutanese clothes worn by women) she inherited from her mother, from the architecture of buildings in her community, or from some of her very own creations–and recontextualized them in her paintings.

Scattered throughout this exhibition are Bhutan’s traditional motifs that were directly inspired by aspects of nature. Where one might find segments of living things, such as the eyes of a pigeon or a fly’s wings, as mundane or trivial, Bhutan has immortalized such things into woven patterns. Galek postulates that these motifs can be interpreted beyond their baseline natural representations. Although the patterns themselves–and the fragments of life they represent–are not considered sentient on their own, they are derivative of beings whose existences exude sentience. The Bhutanese, in their interactions with these patterned objects, imbue within them a sense of life different and special from the being that once resembled and inspired it. In the object’s handling and journey in daily use, it is animated with spirit, and this spirit permeates the aura of the nation.

Beyond naturalism-derived patterns, Galek explores the role women play in Bhutanese society. The art of weaving and pattern making is an art traditionally handed down from mother to daughter. Just as one communicates their identity, culture, and heritage through their clothing, Galek uses patterns and the female figure to emphasize the importance of the role Bhutanese women play in shaping the collective Bhutanese identity—not only as patrons of textiles and patterns, but as patrons of Bhutan’s future.

Galek has placed such designs and concepts beyond their conventional location and frames. How would the collegiate, academic interactions between colors change the way we interpret these mountain motifs? What does one feel when engaging with the abandonment of strict symmetric rules in patterns once glued to a grid? How might we contemplate the repetition of Bhutanese architectural norms if we move past their utilitarian placements? Where might we sense the pattern’s presence outside of textiles and architecture? Where in the pigment do the spirits of those who have created the pattern dwell? These are questions she attempts to answer in her paintings.

Galek Yangzom Galek Yangzom (born 1999) is a Bhutanese artist who works primarily with oil paint. At Swarthmore College, where she double-majored in Studio Art and Economics, she focused her time on expanding her familiarity with multiple mediums. During her thesis exhibition, she showcased her exploration of memory and the role it plays in object sacredness, familiarity, and ownership. In order to convey the stories and emotions of her world, Galek attempts to use magic realism in her work. She exaggerates, distorts, and extends the drama of our immediate reality to see outside the superficial.

Y Art Project was Founded in 2019 by art consultant Ying Ji, Y Art Project is a multi-art project firm dedicated to bringing art into daily life in a thoughtful and beautiful way. Y Art Project aims to promote cultural dialogues and raise awareness of sustainable living through art activities and exhibitions.

Coinllectibles Coinllectibles is a publicly traded blockchain Digital Ownership Tokens (DOTs) technology company on the US OTC Market. It works with artists, creators, galleries and collectors to bring their masterpieces to the Web 3.0 community.

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