Living Canvas – Bringing art to life
17 November, 2008 - You might have seen paintings hung on the walls of galleries and homes. But have you ever seen them come alive, as it were, walk towards you and tell you stories about what they actually mean?
About 23 paintings came to life on November 13 in Thimphu as local human models walked the ramp, wearing different art pieces depicting culture, history, human nature, and folk tales, all in one form - live art.
Paintings of intricate colours and designs were worn and displayed with special light and sound effects, which further projected the artwork and its essence.
Calling it a Living Canvas- the gallery without walls - about eight artists and two musicians from Nepal and Sri Lanka, in association with voluntary artist’s studio, Thimphu (VAST), had come together to paint, sew, paste and weave and create fine pieces of three dimensional artwork.
“There are different ways for paintings to go to people and it is one of those,” said Deneth Piumakshi, who conceptualised and created Living Canvas with the help of Kasthamandap Art Studio in Nepal.
In 2006, young artists, aged between 24 and 30, had displayed their first work in Nepal, where they received positive response and encouragement to move on. They realised that they should travel and went on to perform in Sri Lanka, which gave them another success story.
“We chose Bhutan as we were told that it’s a very special year and decided to be a part of it,” said Deneth, adding that they met and decided to perform with VAST, being the only contemporary artist group.
She said it was an effort to provide a wider range of media for people to appreciate and understand art. “Artists have different ways to express their imagination and, through Living Canvas, music, lights and performers come together and portray art in a more understandable way,” she said.
Kichaa Man Chitrakar (DJ Tantrik) said Bhutanese artists were very creative but lacked encouragement from viewers.
“They’re forced to continue with traditional art and are having difficulty in pursuing contemporary art,” he said, adding that, having been born in a region, which was strongly rooted in traditions, the group was trying to break away and explore new things while keeping traditions in mind.
The non-profit group, which survives on sponsorships, said they would keep going and their next destination was India.
Meanwhile, Azha Karma of VAST told Kuensel that the project was something new to the local artists and a very good idea to display artwork. “It has really inspired us,” he said.
By Kesang Dema