Art is of high importance in the small kingdom of Bhutan which was isolated for a long while. In state schools, which are supported by the government, young people are taught thirteen different crafts. Previously, the training lasted up to seven years. Traditional painting is one of those arts where religious and mystical motives are painted according to strict specifications regarding shapes and colours.
After the country opened cautiously, the way for contemporary painting was set free. But still many of these works deal in a creative way with Buddhist and cultural issues. In order to make this upcoming art more popular, one of the pioneers, “Asha Kama”, founded the association “VAST” with two other avant-garde artists in 1998 – here young people can find inspiration. Asha Kamas is well-known all over Bhutan and his paintings beautify the halls of hotels and public buildings.