In search of the essence

“Essence” a solo exhibition by artist Pema Tshering, which opened at the Voluntary Artist Studio Thimphu (VAST) gallery in Thimphu on November 3, offers insight into the landscape and people of remote Bhutan.

Different sides of multi-faceted Bhutan are depicted in the exhibit. The image of the Buddha appears in many works, showing the significance of religion in the Bhutanese way of life. Dzongs stand majestic, nestled in the lush and verdant landscape.

This is Pema Tshering’s second solo exhibition. His first solo exhibition in 2013 titled ‘Re-Lightened’ left many in awe of his brilliant works

For Pema Tshering, also known as Tintin, and a founding member of VAST, Bhutan is a great source of inspiration as it is a land where myths and legends come alive and a place where one can find the true essence of peace and happiness.

“As an artist I am greatly inspired by the endless creative possibilities that comes from combining the richness of Bhutanese heritage with the infinite range of art techniques including watercolors, acrylic, sketching and mixed media,” said Pema Tshering.  “I relish the power of suggestion, how the angled flow of a stroke can convey movement physically or in thought. I have recently tried to explore traditional images in search of the core, or the essence.”

He said that his journey as an artist has enjoyed the dual blessing of being born in a nation like Bhutan, which has a strong, vibrant and colorful tradition of art, and being involved since childhood with VAST where I have been constantly exposed to new artistic styles and traditions.

“Contemporary art is relatively new in Bhutan and as a contemporary Bhutanese artist, I recognize both the challenges and opportunities of this circumstance,” said Pema Tshering. “We are still learning to understand and connect with new ways of expression. I hope every piece of work that I undertake has the potential for both myself and the viewers to interpret and represent our world with a fresh and untutored perspective. I know this is both an exciting opportunity and huge responsibility, both of which I embrace.”

The exhibition is on until 17 November.

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