Chhimi Dema

Metamorphosis, the process of change and development, is constant.

Forty-six artists’ understanding of metamorphosis is on display at VAST Bhutan as part of the Modern Art Competition.

The annual competition is being organised by VAST Bhutan with support from the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan.

Art using painting shows the change the country has undergone or stories of personal development.

Karma Tenzin Choden, gallery art director at VAST Bhutan, said that the theme was to portray how the world changes in times of the pandemic and war.

It is also a representation of the booming Metaverse, a virtual space within digital environments such as online games, social media, and virtual reality, she said. “But more than those, it is reflection of an individual’s understanding of metamorphosis.”

Selden Wangmo Dorji, 22, a university student, said that the competition provided platform for self-taught artist to show their skills and talents. “VAST Bhutan and RTA have given us an amazing platform.”

Selden painted an artwork called “Third Eye Garden” using acrylic paints.

“The artwork following the theme of metamorphosis shows how our identity and personality changes with time and experience throughout our lives,” she said.

She added that the artwork was inspired by her experience of moving to new places that introduces her to different cultures.

Pem Lham, an artist, created the art piece “Escaping the Box”.

In the art piece: from a frame depicting the sky falls a cut out of a person from a mentse-dhar background.

This, Pem Lham said, is what metamorphosis means to her. “We are always told to think out of the box and we constantly live in a box; even during death we are put in a box. Is escaping the box-like life the ultimate metamorphosis?”

She said that she got the idea when she saw someone close pass away.

Pem Lham said that competition such as this makes her to think about how she can present an idea or concept differently so that it makes the viewer think or question.

The artworks will be on display until the end of this month.