Founder of VAST-Yangtse nominated for prestigious Asian Inspiration Award
A founder of Visual Artistic Studio of Trashiyangtse commonly known as Vast-Yangtse and a school teacher of Trashiyangtse Lower Secondary School has been nominated for the prestigious Asian Inspiration Award 2018 in the category of arts scheduled on November 30 in Sri Lanka.
Jigme Dorji has been nominated for his continuous effort in volunteering in the community to promote contemporary art in eastern Bhutan and particularly in Trashiyangtse.
Talking to Business Bhutan, Jigme Dorji said he is happy that his little effort in promoting contemporary art in the small community of Trashiyangtse has been recognized by the international community.
“Such an award is encouraging to further work in promoting art in the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jigme Dorji is also a recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Grand Pix award in the world art contest in 2002 where he represented Bhutan. He also received the certificate of merit from international children’s art exhibition in Sweden in 2011, besides being nominated for the volunteer of the year award in 2014 for promoting contemporary art in Bhutan, especially in Trashiyangtse.
VAST-Yangste has been playing a vital role in promoting art education in eastern Bhutan and serves as a gathering place for young people of the community focusing on art education, social works and philanthropic projects.
Besides a hectic and tedious teaching job in the school from Monday till Saturday, Jigme Dorji, however, still finds time in volunteering to teach basic arts and interacting with the members.
He said such initiatives benefit the young people.
“Such initiatives and projects help youth to interact and exchange their ideas among others and we also invite renowned artists in Yangtse to teach our youth,” he added.
Furthermore, VAST-Yangtse not only organizes several art competitions and poster competitions, but has also actively participated in various international art competitions, besides hosting several local exhibition and art interaction camp for the youth.
Jigme Dorji describes that the most memorable achievement for VASTYangtse was when His Majesty The King visited the art studio in Yangtse in the beginning of 2018.
“We are showered with His Majesty’s personal support including the monthly gift (soelra) for studio rent (Nu 10,000) as a gesture of love and appreciation from the Throne in promoting contemporary art in eastern Bhutan,” he added.
Besides teaching basic arts, Jigme Dorji said he likes to collaborate with the community and render social services in the community.
“We join the community in beautifying the dzongkhag and in rendering social services which also instill in us the sense of voluntarism,” he said, adding that he had also provided other social services like in “project panyamkaygay – empowering and educating rural women”. The project aims to provide easy access to safe sanitary napkins for every school girls in the remote schools and to support the rural women.
Meanwhile, Jigme Dorji also has other plans in the pipeline - to setup library rooms and a mini ICT lab, and organize an art interaction camp with youths of other dzongkhags.
“We have also plans to expand our art network with other dzongkags and invite international artists to teach our youths,” he added.
VAST-Yangtse, meanwhile, is a non-profit contemporary art center based in Trashiyangtse and was set up in mid-2012 in line with the Volunteer Art Studio of Thimphu under the guidance and support from Azha Karma Wangdi, a renowned Bhutanese Artist.
Meanwhile, the prestigious Asian Inspiration Award 2018 is organized by the International Youth Committee and will be attended by youth from over 100 countries.