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



National Assembly Election 2018: Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa And Druk Phuensum Thosgpa Through To General Round

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa secured 92,722 votes and Druk Phuensum Thosgpa secured 90,020 votes.

Sep 15, 2018 21:50

Samdrup Jongkhar Aims To Be The First Plastic Free Town In Bhutan

It may take time for Samdrup Jongkgar to become a completely plastic-free town but the residents will work towards fulfilling this dream...

Sep 11, 2018 16:56


Drukgyel Dzong Which Used To House Sacred Bhutanese Documents Lost to A Fire In 1951, To Be Restored By 2022

The reconstruction works began in April 2016 after the command of His Majesty The King to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness (HRH)...

Sep 17, 2018 15:42

11 Year Old Author Revives Forgotten Snowball Culture Of ‘Khakey’ In Bhutan

Khakey is a custom that originated in Western Bhutan and was popular a few generations ago.

Sep 13, 2018 19:27


Bhutanese Female Athlete Aces In Athletics And Boxing While Juggling Studies

Tandin was selected to compete at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia last month.

Sep 09, 2018 17:24

An American Won The Breath-Taking 268km Tour Of The Dragon Mountain Bike Race In Bhutan

The 268 km race is considered as the toughest one-day mountain bike race in the world.

Sep 05, 2018 16:30


Cultivation Of Avocado Looks Set To Take Off In Tsirang, Bhutan

A few farmers have already started selling avocados in the Sunday vegetable market for about Nu 250-350 a kilogram.

Sep 18, 2018 15:38

BEBL Group Aims To Export Bhutan’s Finest Agro-Products To New Markets Such As The Middle-East

Most of the Bhutanese commodities are absorbed within the Indian market, BEBL feels that the farmers are deprived of their deserving market...

Sep 14, 2018 17:52


Handicrafts Shops Thrives In Paro Selling Bhutanese Textile, Paintings, Bamboo Products And More

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

Sep 16, 2018 14:56

Be Awe-Inspired By The ‘Dance Of The Terrifying Gods’ And More At The Thimphu Tshechu Which Starts On 19 Sept

Held from 19 to 21 Sept 2018, the annual Thimphu Tshechu (festival) is a vibrant visual feast for both locals and foreigners.

Sep 12, 2018 20:45


Miniature Bhutan Creates Amazing Artworks Out Of Pencil Lead And Rice Grains

Miniature Bhutan carves on the lead of pencil tips to make traditional miniature sculptures such as the Buddha, traditional bridges, swords...

Sep 10, 2018 12:44

Bhutan Buy - E-Commerce Platform Seeks To Promote Sale Of Bhutanese Products And Change The Way Bhutanese Shop

Samir Pradhan started Bhutanbuy, an e-commerce company, the first of its kind in Bhutan.

Sep 06, 2018 23:30

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!