Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Traditional Painting

This nation has a wonderful age-old tradition of talented artisans, especially wood-carvers, weavers and painters. There is a strong move afoot to maintain these traditional skills in a nation that is rapidly joining the rest of the world in the 21st century. There are a couple of colleges in the bigger cities that train apprentices in these dying arts. I'm planning to visit them when time allows, but the work of the painters and carvers can be seen throughout our new building. 

It is a law here that ALL buildings carry the intricate external cornice work, and ours is no exception. We have embraced this concept with outstretched arms. A team of 35 students from the local college were hired to complete this mammoth task, and they did us, and themselves, proud.

We were so delighted with their work that we brought them inside the building and (where budget allowed!), asked them to continue their motifs onto the foyer walls, on hanging concrete beams and even over the exposed air-conditioning ducts.

This IT Park building is extremely high tech, from the earthquake-resistant construction of the building itself, to the world's most advanced computers, servers, broadband connections and all other infrastructure. But we always wanted to retain the feel of "old Bhutan" about the project.

The building is designed to be reminiscent of the ancient dzongs (fortresses) that dot the Bhutanese countryside. The gardens are planted mainly with local indigenous shrubs and trees, we have our own chhorten proudly straddling a running stream through the 5 acres...and now this magnificent traditional painting is enthralling those of us who work here, as well as our many visitors and workers....

But a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll let these speak for themselves...

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