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Asha Kama, Presence 2 (2017). Courtesy of the artist and Joseph Maxwell
Asha Kama, Presence 2 (2017). Courtesy of the artist and Joseph Maxwell
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New York City Hosts Rare Exhibition of Contemporary Bhutanese Art

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 28 February 2017
A rare group exhibition of contemporary art from Bhutan, Voice of the Thunder Dragon is a pop-up show in New York City featuring 25 paintings by artists from this less-explored Asian state.

A small Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayan mountains, Bhutan is one of the few remaining regions that has managed to resist extensive modernity and damaging Westernization. By no means does cultural preservation and relative isolation translate to lack of progress, either; Bhutan pioneered the governmental consideration of happiness to maximize wellbeing amongst its people.

Gyempo Wangchuk, Offerings of the Learned (2016). All images courtesy of the artist and Joseph Maxwell
Gyempo Wangchuk, Offerings of the Learned (2016). All images courtesy of the artist and Joseph Maxwell

In keeping with this cultural emphasis on happiness, Bhutanese art is geared towards the pursuit of enlightenment. This artistic tradition remains a central point of influence for contemporary artists from the kingdom, showcased amongst the 25 paintings in Voice of the Thunder Dragon.

Curated by art collector and filmmaker Maxwell Joseph, the exhibition precedes Joseph’s documentary, Where the Wind Blows. The film, which will premiere in June 2017, traces Bhutan’s globalization through the examination of Bhutanese contemporary art.

Asha Kama, Presence 1 (2017)
Asha Kama, Presence 1 (2017)
Gyempo Wangchuk, Four Friends (2015)
Gyempo Wangchuk, Four Friends (2015)
Gyempo Wangchuk, Mind Poisons (2014)
Gyempo Wangchuk, Mind Poisons (2014)
Gyempo Wangchuk, Lives of the Phalluses (2016)
Gyempo Wangchuk, Lives of the Phalluses (2016)

Voice of the Thunder Dragon opened on February 11th and will run through February 28th at 263 Bowery.

263 Bowery, New York, NY, USA