Exhibition: Four Bhutanese contemporary visual artists are exhibiting their artworks in an exhibition titled Voice of the Thunder Dragon in the United States.

Curated by collector Maxwell S Joseph, the exhibition presents works by Asha Kama, Pema Tshering, Phurba Namgay and Gyempo Wangchuk.

Asha Kama is the founder of Voluntary Artists’ Studio in Thimphu (VAST). Phurba Namgay is a traditional Bhutanese thangka painter and a contemporary artist. Gyempo Wangchuk and Pema Tshering are well known for their contemporary art works.

The exhibit explores the dominant themes in contemporary Bhutanese art, Maxwell S Joseph said through an email interview.

“The primary purpose of the exhibit is to provide additional channels of dissemination for Bhutanese contemporary art. Currently, it is very difficult for Bhutanese artists to interact with the global art market. This both discourages young Bhutanese from pursuing contemporary art and prevents the world from hearing the very compelling and potent story of Bhutan,” Maxwell S Joseph said.

The artworks are being presented with utmost care and consideration of the traditions and historical context of Bhutanese art forms, Maxwell S Joseph said, adding that the response from the exhibition is overwhelmingly positive. “People are very intrigued and excited to learn and see more of contemporary Bhutanese art.”

Pema Tshering has been a contemporary artist for more than 17 years. He is known for his works where he re-examines Buddhist and Bhutanese concepts offering them a new perspective.

To be able to participate in such exhibitions is very important for Bhutanese artists, Pema Tshering, who is the only Bhutanese artist present at the exhibition, said. “It gives us encouragement and a drive to do better. When we have such opportunities, we get more exposure and it helps us learn from others. We also get to see new perspectives, which is important for the overall growth of contemporary art.”

“I want to thank Maxwell S Joseph and Alexander Bohm for working hard to make this possible for us,” Pema Tshering added.

The exhibition that began February 11 will go on until February 28.

Thinley Zangmo