Pema Gyeltshen, Who Made a U-turn to Art

Born in 1983 in Trashigang, Bhutan, Pema Gyeltshen's passion for art ignited at a young age, as he often found himself sketching, drawing, and scribbling on the pages of his school notebooks rather than concentrating on his lessons.

In 1998, Pema embarked on a transformative journey by joining the Voluntary Artists Studio Thimphu (VAST), where he acquired a fundamental understanding of art and painting. The knowledge and inspiration he gained during this time laid the foundation for his career as a committed artist.

Upon completing high school, he regrettably veered off course, falling into a period of substance abuse and aimless wanderings with like-minded individuals. Eventually, a pivotal realization struck him, compelling him to break free from his self-destructive habits.

Recognizing that he had been driving down the wrong path, he made a resolute U-turn and never looked back. He sought meaningful employment to stand on his own feet and gain a real-world perspective. He worked at a Tyre Repair and Resoling workshop for three years, assisted in land survey for one year, and spent another year at a brokerage office. These experiences were essential in shaping his character and instilling a strong work ethic.

In 2012, he made the life-altering decision to commit himself entirely to the pursuit of art, despite the numerous challenges that lay ahead. Since then, his unwavering focus has been on creating art, participating in exhibitions and workshops, and venturing abroad to share his work with kindred spirits. He has successfully sold his artworks both within and beyond Bhutan, turning his passion into a means of sustenance.

His artwork encompasses a wide array of themes, including religion, tradition, culture, everyday life, abstracts, and self-expression, reflecting his deep appreciation for diversity and a strong connection to traditional forms of expression. The majority of his works are crafted using acrylic and watercolors.

Art has not only provided him with a unique lens through which to view the world, untarnished by external influences, but it has also nurtured his social skills and personal growth. It has taught his the value of humility and bestowed upon his a sense of purpose. Art is his lifeline, infusing meaning into his existence. His sole aspiration now is to push myself to the limits, producing profound, soulful expressions on blank canvases, and, if possible, contribute to the contemporary art scene in Bhutan.



2018: Participation: South Asia Folk Arts Exhibition, Kunming, China.
2018: Participation: The 9th Asian International Art Exhibition, Qingdao, China
2018: Participation: ‘Power’, an art competition and exhibition, VAST Bhutan and Royal Textile Academy,
2018: Participation: Bhutan week in Delhi, exhibition for 50 years of Indo-Bhutan Friendship celebration
2018: Participation: ‘Colors of love’, group exhibition, Bhutan and Singapore Artist union, Thimphu,
2018: Participation: India-Bhutan Cultural Exchange and Art camp, Delhi, India
2017: Facilitator: Winter Youth Art camp, VAST Bhutan, Funded by MOIC, Thimphu

2017: Participation: ‘Patterns of Happiness’, art exhibition and competition, Royal Textile Academy,
VAST Bhutan
2017: Contribution of artwork: The Art of Giving, exhibition, VAST Bhutan (annual event)
2017: Participation: India-Bhutan cultural exchange and art camp, Thimphu,Bhutan
2016: Participation: International Art Exhibition, Kathmandu, Nepal
2016: Certificate of Appreciation: The 8th Asian Art Exhibition, Malaysia
2016: Certificate of Participation: First International Fine Arts and Poetry Exhibition, Siliguri, India
2016: Certificate of Participation: SAARC Artists camp, Bhutan
2016: Certificate of Merit: First Position, Art Competition, NWCC, Indian Embassy, Thimphu
2015: Certificate of Participation: Bhutan International Festival
2012: Certificate of Appreciation: Arts and Painting coordinator, Youth Development Fund

Visit our Online Gallery to explore and purchase select paintings from Pema Gyeltshen and other featured artists. If you're keen on exploring their broader portfolio of artworks, please feel free to get in touch with us. We'd be delighted to assist you.

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