Pointillism - Bhutanese Style

“Pointillism is comparatively new in Bhutan,” he said, adding that he wanted to give a new dimension to art in the country.

Manzil Lama working on his dotted art. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)


A canvas, a steady hand and patience is what takes a promising artist, Manzil Lama in Phuentsholing, to painstakingly craft a surreal portrait of Punakha dzong from a billion points (dots) with ink pens.

Pointillism - also known as dotted art

Just three years into art, the 32-year-old has developed a knack for realistic pointillism in 3D effect. Pointillism is dotted art.

He said that mistakes are not tolerated in art. “Once a point is marked with a water-resistant ink pen, there is no erasing.”

Manzil Lama is from Pekhasey village in Samphelling, Chukha. He has a Bachelors in Computer Application from Bangalore, India.

He said that he sketched for leisure initially and tried painting in oil and acrylic but claims that it was realistic pointillism that fascinated him the most.

“Pointillism is comparatively new in Bhutan,” he said, adding that he wanted to give a new dimension to art in the country.

Creating a 3D effect using realistic pointillism

He claimed that as he researched and practised on pointillism, he wanted to mix it with a realism that gave birth to realistic pointillism. “My goal is to put the 3D effect in images I work on.”

He said the journey of art was not easy as he juggles passion and profession. “I did not have any prior professional art courses and training and relied mostly on books and YouTube videos.”

Manzil Lama said that someone helped him with the basics and after that he had to learn on his own.

In January 2018, Manzil Lama completed Punakha dzong art, a visual treat for visitors at his shop.

A popular painter in Thimphu, Sukhbir Bishwa said that Manzil Lama’s works are interesting. “He is so passionate about what he does.”

Manzil Lama showcases his works in Thimphu

Although pointillism is not new in a global context, no one has tried it in Bhutan, according to Sukhbir Biswa. “He has the capacity to make it in the international arena.”

The Thimphu-based painter also said that Manzil Lama could keep his works at his gallery in Thimphu.

It’s not only painters who appreciate Manzil’s work.

Several students in Phuentsholing drop by his store to view his art sometimes and some are keen to learn.

Sirjana Rai, a class 10 graduate said that she once requested the artist to teach her and her friends. “But he said it is not yet time,” she said.

“He said he wants to participate in an exhibition.”

At his IT shop, Manzil Lama tends to his customers. As the customers leave, he puts on his gloves, holds the ink pen, and hits the canvas. He is currently working on a Buddha painting.

He said that he has not thought about going commercial yet although he has sold several sketches in the last three years. “I am keen on refining my skills first,” he said.


By Rajesh Rai in Phuentsholing (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in Kuensel.



Related Posts

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

Handicraft Shops Do Lucrative Business

Handicraft business in Paro is lucrative. The profit margin was very high. Although the same remains true now,...

Aug 21, 2017 15:17

Reviving the Art of Chog-Zhi-Bur-Zo

Reviving the art of chog-zhi-bur-zo (four dimensional woodcarving). Woodcarvings in Bhutan are mostly found on altars,...

Jan 29, 2018 06:50

Her Expression Showcases Works of 48 Female Artists

The exhibition opened on 30 Oct 2017 at the Voluntary Artists Studio in Thimphu (VAST) gallery in Le Meridien and VAST...

Oct 31, 2017 12:52

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

Traditional Process of Dyeing Woollen Yarns at Risk of Dying Out

The traditional method of dyeing woollen yarns to weave Yathra in Bumthang is hardly practiced today. Yathra weaving is...

Oct 13, 2017 06:44



Drukair Orders New Aircraft That's Equipped With Latest Visual Technology

The new ClearVision technology on the aircraft allows pilots to get a clear picture of the runway while landing the aircraft.

Jul 19, 2018 12:47

After 9 Years, The Amochhu Bridge In Bhutan Finally Opened On 14 July 2018

The driving distance between Phuentsholing and Samtse is now reduced to 57km from 81.2km

Jul 18, 2018 14:57


Bhutan's climb to medicines safety

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug...

Jul 17, 2018 14:31

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To Excel Holistically

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace, harmony and...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14


Future Of Bhutan’s Women Football Depends On The Development Of Local Coaches

The football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches.

Jul 08, 2018 18:16

Bhutan’s Two Young Representatives Shared Their Unforgettable Experiences At The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Bhutan was represented by two students, Rigzin Tenzin, 12, from Gelephu and Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Lower Secondary School,...

Jun 30, 2018 14:06


Cottage And Small Industry Which Saw 20% Growth Is A Pillar Of Bhutan’s Industry Sector

To date, the CSIs constitute more than 90 percent of Bhutan’s industry sector.

Jul 19, 2018 13:46

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served More Than 500 Tourists And Locals Since 2016

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism...

Jul 14, 2018 14:23


Heading To Haa, Bhutan For The Summer Festival? Here Are Some Culinary Delights You Must Not Miss!

Savour the most delectable cuisine from the province of Haa in Bhutan.

Jul 13, 2018 14:54

Rare Masked Dances - One Of The Unique Features Of The Kholong Tshechu (Brawl Festival) In Bhutan

“Other dances like the Pha-dong chham, Sangling Ngachham, and Terchham among others are not performed in any part of the country,” said...

Jul 03, 2018 14:44


Suja – Bhutanese Butter Tea Infused With Happiness To Kickstart Your Day

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter.

Jul 17, 2018 17:19

Bhutan Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Commemorate 50 Years Of Bhutan-India Friendship Ended With Colourful Traditional Dances

Bhutanese celebrities and Sikkim’s local artists performed various traditional and cultural performances at the festival.

Jul 15, 2018 14:32

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!