Research Done By Bhutanese Artists To Revive Ancient Culture Of Using Colours Sourced From Nature

Email

Artists Penjor Dorji and Norbu Tshering are about to complete a research on using natural pigments to create artworks in Bhutan.

Zorig Chusum Institute. (Source: Tashi Yoedling)

 

By Neten Dorji | Kuensel

Unlike in the past where Bhutanese painters used natural dyes to paint scrolls, the ones available today in the market are painted with imported colours.

Artists Penjor Dorji and Norbu Tshering, who graduated from the Zorig Chusum Institute in Trashiyangtse, which trains students in Bhutan’s thirteen traditional arts such as sculpture, wood-carving and weaving, are hoping to reverse this trend.

 

Source: Welcome 2 Bhutan

 

They are about to complete a research on natural pigments, in a bid to start reviving the culture of working with natural dyes.

Penjor Dorji said that with the guidance from his teacher and grandparents, he continued to research on the production and usage of natural dyes.

“About 90 percent of the research is completed and we have been researching on natural pigments for the last five years.”

Sources where natural colours were procured in Bhutan in the past

In the past, materials used in Bhutanese painting were natural pigmented soils, plants and trees, which are found throughout the country.

 

Source: Hiveminer

 

The names of different natural colours, the plants they are sourced from as well as their usage will be published in a book. 

For example, dark brown is produced from walnut cover, yellow from marijuana, light green from mint, dark green from oak leaves and orange from madder.

“About 15 different colours have been documented,” he said.

The advantages of using natural colours for artworks

According to Penjor, natural colours can last around 3,000 to 4,000 years, if natural dyes are mixed efficiently with glue.

The two artists believe that the publication can contribute to the revival of Bhutan’s ancient culture. The book can also serve as a guide on the natural pigments used and their availability in the country.

 

Source: Kuensel

 

A teacher from the institute of Zorig Chusum, Lopen Samten Dorji said that in the earlier days, painters used holy water and medicinal plants to make natural dyes.

“If we use that, it will benefit both painters and customers.”

He revealed that imported colours are expensive. “If Bhutanese go for natural pigments, it can benefit the country culturally and economically.”

In the previous trade show, Penjor Dorji said that a painted work of art using natural colours fetched between Nu 100,000 to 200,000.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Handicrafts Shops Thrives In Paro Selling Bhutanese Textile,...

With businesses picking up fast as a result of the tourism boom, the handicraft shops in Paro have even formed a...

Sep 16, 2018 14:56

VAST – A Champion Of Contemporary Art In Bhutan

The Founder of VAST, who is fondly known as Asha Karma, has devoted his time to promoting contemporary art ever since...

Jul 30, 2018 18:42

Art Exhibition Held At Bhutan’s Royal Textile Academy To...

The project hopes to transform the origami snow leopard into a symbol of optimism for the conservation of this beautiful...

Oct 26, 2018 16:26

17th Annual National Design and Art Competition Held In Thimphu...

The competition had three categories – gho, kira and embroidery before 2017. Since then, two new categories -...

Nov 13, 2018 17:24

Conserving the Traditional Art of Weaving

The mission of the Royal Textile Academy is to preserve and promote the traditional form of weaving.

Nov 18, 2017 10:36

Tourism Growth Boosts Handicrafts Business

“We can see the happiness in the colours and it’s very special. I think it’s essential that westerners come over,...

Nov 01, 2017 07:10

Latest

News

Canadian Delegation Held 1st Biennial Consultations, Set To Foster Closer Ties With Bhutan

The two sides exchanged views on the recent political, economic developments and bilateral cooperation in Bhutan and Canada.

Nov 26, 2019 23:38

Bhutan Celebrates World Children’s Day, Renews Commitment To Well-Being Of Children

UNICEF’s Bhutan Representative, Dr Will Parks said that children today encounter multiple challenges to childhood that were not envisaged 30...

Nov 21, 2019 23:38

Features

Civil Servants Sponsored Festival In Remote Village Of Bhutan, Brought Joy To Many

The tshechu draws devotees from across the dzongkhag, and even the neighbouring Indian town of Tawang.

Dec 11, 2019 13:18

Five High End Hotels From Bhutan Bagged International Awards

The five award winning hotels are: dusitD2 Yarkay, Terma Linca Resort and Spa, Zhiwaling Heritage, Le Meridien Thimphu and Taj Tashi hotels.

Dec 02, 2019 22:38

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Namgyle Dorji & Nagendra Kafley Of Bundle.bt

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Dec 09, 2019 14:38

India, Singapore And Thailand – Top 3 Asian Foreign Direct Investments In Bhutan

The total number of FDI projects in Bhutan stands at 83 as of November this year.

Dec 07, 2019 19:28

Travel

Bhutan’s Black-Necked Crane Festival Drawing More Foreign Tourists

Some 500 tourists from around the world came to Bhutan to see the Black-Necked Crane festival, exceeding the number of locals.

Nov 14, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Bird Festival Set Bird Watching Haven Of Zhemgang Abuzz

Zhemgang is home to more than 500 species of birds, which is an area much sought after by bird watchers from around the world.

Nov 13, 2019 12:48

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!