From the known history, fine art in Bhutan can be
traced from as way back as seventh century where Buddhism was introduced into
Bhutan. Nyingma order is credited for the introduction. There are two main
orders associated with Buddhism in Bhutan which are Nyingma and Drukpa Kagyu.
The art of Bhutan is like Tibetese art which are both based on Vajrayana
Buddhism. They portray pantheon divine beings in their art. For many centuries
now, the divine beings’ images are made with the original specifications that have
not been changed at all.
The images are designed with special and specific
objects, for example: shapes, colors and related identifying objects such as thunderbolt,
lotus and begging bowl. These unique features in their artworks are still
portrayed in their pieces as the culture and knowledge was passed on to the
following generations who came after the Master of Fine Art in Bhutan. The fine
art in Bhutan has largely exploited many artworks using bronze in different
kinds. Collectively they are called Kham-so which means made in Kham although
they are from Bhutan.
This is because the style and technique of making most
of them originated from east province known as Kham in Tibet. Their traditional
artworks are among the most celebrated today due to the maintenance and passing
of knowledge to the upcoming and practicing fine artists on how make them. Most
sculptures and mural paintings in Bhutan are defined by ageless principals of Buddhist
art forms. The fine art in Bhutan is
rich in their culture and traditions due to Institute of Zorig Chosum which was
supported by its government which is the main institution for traditional arts
and crafts. This institution trains its students all the traditional art forms
The main material for traditional sculptures was clay. Art and crafts in Bhutan include paintings, weaving, blacksmith, carpentry and paper making artworks among many other crafts. These different types of artworks have maintained the original course that they were meant to deliver by the masters who started to spread the art in Bhutan. It is important to note that most of the art in Bhutan are religious related by nature. This is one of the reasons why most of the traditional paintings does not include the signature or the name of the fine artist who did it.
All types of traditional paintings in Bhutan are known as lhazo. Bhutan art is made relevant and celebrated in many occasions including jeweleries that women wear and traditional festivals that they are to date celebrated. It is through the support of the government and willingness of the people in Bhutan to keep the culture and hence maintain the high regard of art among Bhutanese culture. Their art is not only celebrated by their people only but also many other people in the world. Some of these artworks are hanging in national museums of other countries in the world due to their high regard of the Bhutan culture and their origin.
Heritage & Future