Art:  Textiles ranking high on their authenticity, technicality and skills, and marketability snagged the most awards at the 15th National Design Competition held at the Royal Textile Academy (RTA) in Thimphu yesterday.

Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck awarded the winners with certificates and cash prizes during the inauguration of the 15th National Design Competition.

About 81 participants, who came from all over the country, were judged under three categories; kira, gho and embroidery. They displayed various intricate designs including 75 kiras, 38 ghos and 26 embroidery pieces for the competition.

Textile Museum’s conservator Sangita Gurung said they selected the nine best pieces as winners.

“Unlike previous years, this year we saw a huge number of participants in the competition,” Sangita Gurung said. “This is encouraging for us since the objective of the competition is to encourage the preservation and promotion of the country’s rich textile heritage.”

There has been a tremendous improvement ever since the National Design Competition began in 2002, Sangita Gurung said. “Today, we see varieties of designs that are intricate, originally designed and beautifully finished.”

The winners took home cash prizes of Nu 50,000, Nu 30,000 and Nu 10,000 respectively for the three categories.

Another 10 designers were also recognised by Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck. They were awarded with meritorious awards, which consisted of a certificate and cash prize of Nu 10,000 each.

Winner of gho category, Thinley Zangmo, 49, said this is the third time she is taking away the prize for the same category. She had also won twice for the kira category during previous competitions.

“It’s encouraging to be able to win such prizes just by weaving,” Thinley Zangmo said. “I hope other weavers are encouraged and inspired when such competitions are being held. I hope many more will participate next year.”

Nobu, 50, from Wanduephodrang took home the first prize for the embroidery category. It is his second win for the category. While Tashi Zangmo took away the first prize for the kira category.

The winner’s textile pieces are currently being displayed at the RTA.

The competition is organised by  Textile Museum and Department of Culture with the home ministry.

Thinley Zangmo