Pema Gyeltshen

Prayer Flags Rolls - Contemporary Bhutanese Painting

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Artist: Pema Gyeltshen, Bhutan 

Title: Prayer Flags Rolls 

Year: 2023

Medium: Acrylic on canvas  

Size: 20x25 cm (8x10 inch) - Delivered without frame.

Prayer flags are mostly found in five-element colours inscribed with auspicious and sacred emblems, symbols, and texts in the forms of invocations, mantras, and sutras. According to astrology, humans and their consciousness are linked with the Five Elements.

The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Iron and Water. The colours represent the following elements: Wood: Green, Fire: Red, Earth: Yellow, Iron: White, Water: Blue.In another description the Green represents Prayers of compassion, Red: Wish-fulfilling prayers, Yellow: Victory over any obstacles, White: Purification of one's karma, Blue: Health and Longevity prayers.


Pema Gyeltshen was born in 1983 in Trashigang, Bhutan. His artistic journey began in his youth, where he frequently doodled in school notebooks instead of focusing on lessons. In 1998, he joined the Voluntary Artists Studio Thimphu (VAST Bhutan), laying the foundation for his career as an artist.

After high school, he faced a challenging period of substance abuse and aimless wandering but had a transformative realization. He made a resolute U-turn, gained practical work experience, and honed his character.

In 2012, Pema committed fully to art, overcoming numerous challenges. He now concentrates on creating art, participating in exhibitions, and sharing his work globally, successfully selling his artworks both within and beyond Bhutan. CLICK for more information on him and contemporary art in Bhutan.