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VAST Bhutan

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

When I was in the tenth grade back in 2014, I remember being selected for a summer art camp in Thimphu. They gave all the selected participants basic lessons for drawing and painting and other fun activities along with free meals and goodies. It was one of the best experiences I had as a young learner. The program encouraged many young children to express creativity and explore crafts. Some people that I remember from the camp even pursued arts as a career. The blog for today is all about the group of people who made it happen.

What/who is VAST?

VAST Bhutan Logo, Saidpiece

With the primary goal of giving Bhutanese youth the opportunity to participate and develop their potential artistic talents, particularly in contemporary art, develop a sense of social responsibility through community service, and also to explore art as a profession, a group of professional artists founded the VAST, in 1998.

The group frequently offers art lessons to interested youth, including school-age children and young adults. Additionally, it arranges art camps to teach young people about morals and the appreciation of art. Additionally, they start initiatives for community service programs to teach the art of giving. In addition to encouraging young artists' involvement in festivals, competitions, and exhibitions that are both national and worldwide. The organizers also offer a space where young people with personal issues can utilize art as a form of therapy and get the life skills they need to deal with challenges.

In 2014, VAST Bhutan became a Civil Society Organization as its influence and scope in the nation grew.

The founders of VAST:

In order to give young art aficionados opportunities, a group of artists, including Kama Wangdi, Phurba Thinley Sherpa, Jigme Lotey, and Pema Dorji, first joined together in 1998. Together, they established VAST. Nim Karma Sherpa, a close friend of Kama Wangdi, came up with the moniker ‘VAST’. Jigme Lotey and Pema Dorji departed the ensemble to pursue their own projects, and Jampel Cheda joined the group a year later. Since then, Kama Wangdi, Phurba Thinley Sherpa, and Jampel Cheda, who had the foresight to see the value and significance of contemporary art education, became responsible for maintaining VAST Bhutan.

Some of VAST’s projects:

1. Exhibition of art in Brussels

Bhutan's art exhibition in Brussel, Belgium

One of the most recent event was an exhibition called "Healing With Happiness" including works by 69 Bhutanese artists is on view at the Belfius Bank in Brussels, Belgium. Prior to the Royal Wedding Anniversary of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, VAST Bhutan inaugurated the exhibition on October 5, 2022.

The show featured pieces of art that depict Bhutanese cultural and traditional characteristics, portraits of significant individuals, and sceneries from Bhutan.

2. Transformation of Paro Airport

Bhutan's King and Queen at Paro Airport, Bhutan

King and Queen of Bhutan at the Paro airport. Source:

Paro International Airport has turned into a national aviation facility with a distinct identity thanks to a concept commanded by His Majesty The King. The airport complex exhibits a fusion of cultures through its artwork and images as well as its technologically enhanced service. A smart selection of spotlights, ceiling lighting, and wall lights have been used to update the interior, along with other features including stylish signage, boutique shops, and fresh furnishings. The exterior parking lots have been landscaped into lush gardens, while the interior is decorated with homey accents.

There is also a unique children’s area called the Gyalsey Happy Brush Corner in the airport where guests are invited to use traditional Bhutanese art supplies to paint mounted traditional masks, postcards, canvases, and customized stamps.

3. Tarayana Park in Thimphu

For the celebration of Her Majesty Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck's birth anniversary, the Tarayana Foundation established and inaugurated the first public-private park with VAST Bhutan, Gaa-Yuel Gardens, and the Tourism Council of Bhutan on 10th of June, 2022. The park features different crafts, structures and flower gardens for people to view.

You can check out a glimpse of the park here:


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