Atsara, from the Sanskrit Acharya, or wise one, is known for his wisdom and knowledge and is above all – HAPPY! Primarily an agent of mirth and merriment, the red- faced Atsara is generally thought of as a clown. However, he is more than just fun and games, as he combines the sacred and profane, wit and wisdom, humour and responsibility to help audiences forget their worries and also prod them towards overcoming their sense of self-importance, hypocrisy and false propriety. The Atsara knows no fear and is a learned being nearing enlightenment and is content, joyful and blissfully untroubled by the trivial.
For my composition, I have done a set of three Atsaras, all in kira – our national dress for women. I used an actual Atsara mask of Paro dzong as reference. My Atsara is without a moustache, which I deliberately left out, and he is wearing a lady’s kira to portray that the Atsara is beyond caring about attire or gender. Most Atsaras are depicted wearing rag- patched torn clothes. But I wanted to make them look nice, which is why I chose to adorn them with beautiful kiras. Coincidentally, the same Atsara traditionally wears a kira during one event of the Paro Tshechu Festival. It is believed that it’s a deity residing below the Dzong who actually puts on the Atsara mask and dresses himself in a beautiful kira during the festival.
Title: Happy Atsara
Exhibited In: Healing with Happiness
Price: Price on Request
Artwork Code: HWH36 II
Sonam Deki Chozom (Sarwa)
Born 1996, from Trashigang
I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration but have always been drawn towards art and painting from a very young age. All through my childhood and adolescence, it has been my hobby to draw, colour and paint.
I became a volunteer at VAST Bhutan straight after high school in 2014, and noticed much improvement through interactions with many talented artists. I am calm and happy when I am painting and will always be a painter for as long as I can hold my brush. I am a children’s art instructor at Gold-Om Creatives.