The 16th Annual National Design and Art Competition was inaugurated on 31 October 2017 at Royal Textile Academy in Thimphu. Her Royal Highness Ashi Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. His Excellency the Speaker of the National Assembly, His Excellency Health Minister and other dignitaries and representatives from various organizations were present for the event.
This national level competition was conducted in five different categories namely Gho (weaving), Kira (weaving), Embroidery, Traditional Painting and Contemporary Arts. The top three winners in each category were awarded certificates and cash prizes of Nu. 120,000/-, 65,000/- and 32,500/- respectively.
The main objective of organizing this national level competition was to contribute to promoting the unique arts and crafts of Bhutan by encouraging and providing a befitting platform and recognition to artisans under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck.
The earlier editions included three categories – Kira and Embroidery. This year, the competition has expanded to include traditional painting and contemporary arts with generous support from Mr. and Mrs. Alan Bickell from the USA.
The competition was organized by the Royal Textile Academy and the Textile Museum, Department of Culture, while the contemporary arts category was organized in collaboration with VAST Bhutan.
Four expert weavers, three embroiderers, two master painters and a master sculptor were awarded The Royal Patron’s Meritorious Award for artisans comprising of certificates and cash in recognition of their contribution to the preservation of the unique arts and crafts of Bhutan.
The exhibition is open to public from 1 to 7 November 2017.