Bangkok’s art scene has been graced with a unique touch of Bhutanese culture through the remarkable art exhibition “Bliss,” created by the talented twin brothers Tashi Dendup and Ugyen Samdrup, collectively known as Twinz. The duo, hailing from the enchanting realm of Bhutan, has woven threads of Vajrayana Buddhism, shamanism, and the multifaceted tapestry of Bhutanese culture into a stunning collection of paintings that challenges the conventional notions of happiness and dives deep into the essence of bliss.
The exhibition’s title, “Bliss,” might at first glance appear paradoxical, as the depicted portraits evoke emotions beyond just happiness. However, for Tashi and Ugyen, the concept of bliss transcends fleeting emotions. It symbolizes a serene state that remains unswayed by the turbulent tides of happiness and sorrow, an equilibrium of mind and heart that persists regardless of external circumstances. As Ugyen, the younger twin by an hour, eloquently explained, “Bliss signifies a state of calmness and self-control…a state of stillness.”
Their artistic endeavor also holds a poignant India connection. The twins’ journey led them to India, where they pursued their passion for art and earned their bachelor’s degrees in fine arts from Lovely Professional University. The influence of India, a neighboring land rich in spiritual heritage, can be sensed in their paintings. The convergence of Bhutanese and Indian cultures is beautifully evident as the brothers blend bold colors, freestyle patterns, and traditional Bhutanese icons with realistic and semi-realistic portraits, reminiscent of a harmonious cultural symphony.
A pivotal painting in the collection, “Nymphaea 2,” reveals Bhutan’s spiritual depth through the portrayal of the goddess Green Tara, a revered figure in Buddhism embodying compassion and mercy. Alongside this, artifacts akin to masks from Thailand’s khon dance exude a sense of familiarity, but Tashi explains that these artifacts embody the wrathful facial expressions of Buddha. Such intricate nuances offer a window into Bhutanese spirituality and its profound connections to the wider Eastern cultural landscape.
Tashi and Ugyen’s artistic journey reflects their bond as identical twins, where communication transcends words. Their shared passion for art, music, and film has forged an unspoken understanding, where a glance suffices to convey intricate preferences and emotions. This synergy enriches their artistic expression, granting their creations a depth that resonates with viewers on a profound level.
“Bliss” not only introduces Thais to the enigmatic world of Bhutanese culture but also underscores the inseparable threads that bind India and Bhutan, both culturally and spiritually. This artful convergence invites audiences to explore the realms beyond mere happiness, in a journey inspired by Bhutan but intertwined with the spiritual tapestry of the entire region. The Twinz have gifted Bangkok a window into their creative souls, illuminated by the shared light of Bhutan and India.