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 Bhutan Times.

 


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

Catch Exciting Film Screenings, Cultural And Sports Events At ‘Japan Week 2018’ In Bhutan

The ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu is hopeful that ‘Japan Week’ will prove beneficial in promoting people to people...

Dec 04, 2018 20:15

Yonphula Airport In Bhutan Sees More Passengers With Increased Flights Per Week

Operations manager with Koufuku International Limited, Sanjok Biswakarma, said that the changes in the flight timing were well-timed.

Dec 03, 2018 22:29

Features

Recognising And Addressing The Needs Of The Differently-Abled In Bhutan

The theme ‘Empowering persons with disability and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,’ was also observed in other dzongkhags.

Dec 07, 2018 14:13

Sightings Of White Bellied Herons Declining In Bhutan

The White Bellied Herons are secretive birds, often intolerant of close proximity to humans.

Dec 05, 2018 22:03

Sports

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks And Hope to Reach Out To All Other Monastic Institutions In Bhutan

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up Archery In Bhutan

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Business

Bhutan Expects Record Low Inflation In 2018

The nine-month average inflation rate this year was recorded at 2.61 percent, the lowest figure since 2004.

Dec 09, 2018 11:47

Austrian Delegation Seek Investment Opportunities In Bhutan And To Foster Stronger Ties

According to the Austrian delegates, eight companies from diverse sectors such as energy, engineering, tourism and health visited Bhutan to...

Dec 06, 2018 12:42

Travel

Lhop Widows From Samtse, Bhutan Keep Their Culture Of ‘Duk Tsho Hang’ Alive

There is a thriving custom among the Lhops – women are not allowed to wear ornaments after their partners die.

Dec 08, 2018 22:08

Bhutan Received 71,417 International Visitors In 2017; Singapore, USA And Japan In Top 10 List

In 2017, Bhutan received 71,417 international visitors and the revenue earned was USD 79m, the highest arrival and revenue since 2012.

Dec 03, 2018 11:25

Lifestyle

Aku Tongmi: A Song For Bhutan Launched To Revive Traditional Bhutanese Music

The book consists of 10 Bhutanese songs including the National Anthem.

Dec 05, 2018 07:04

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

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

Nov 29, 2018 07:51

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!