Asha Kama Wangdi
Born 1958, from Punakha
I first encountered western art at school in Thimphu. I left school to spend several years as an apprentice studying the religious and traditional art of Bhutan at the National Fine Arts Centre, and then worked as an illustrator and designer for the Royal Government. With a scholarship to study at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in England, I graduated with a first class Honours Degree in 1994.
In 1997 I took an early retirement to found VAST Bhutan with two other artists. Since then, we have tutored more than 10,000 young people including children in conflict with the law, school students, and out of school youth. In 2010, I was a recipient of the National Order of Merit (Gold) from His Majesty The King for my contributions to art and the larger community.
It has been my privilege to come to be regarded as the torch-bearer of contemporary art in Bhutan, and my life’s work has been to foster a uniquely Bhutanese voice in contemporary art, which draws from our rich cultural heritage.