Staff Reporter 

‘Patterned Prayer’ the first solo exhibition by Galek Yangzom features her paintings recontextualising 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 cloths communicate identity, culture, and heritage. 

Her paintings explore the academic interaction between colours, 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.

Beyond naturalism-derived patterns, Galek explores the role women play in Bhutanese society. The weaving and pattern-making is an art traditionally handed down from a mother to her daughter.      

Just as one communicates their identity, culture, and heritage through their clothing, Galek uses patterns and the female figure to emphasise 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.

The exhibition took place at the  Arts House in Singapore on July 21 and 22.