Thanka art form may lose its charm and existence either due to lack of interests on the part of new generation or intricacy and hard labour required said the artist. Khandu Wangchuk Bhutia will be receiving the nation’s fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri this year for his work on Buddhist.
Khandu said that it requires a great deal of hard work, knowledge, patience and dedication to perfect the ancient thanka art form and the new generation hardly remain enthusiastic and eager to learn and follow such intricate art form.
“Who will carry the legacy of Buddhist Thanka art in future? I doubt that Thanka art form will go into a complete oblivion due to lack of knowledge and enthusiasm to learn about Thanka art amongst the new generation,” said Khandu.
On the other hand, Khandu maintained that being selected for the Padma Shri means a lot to him. He said the award is not only recognition of his work as an artist but the recognition of the particular art form itself.
“I am honoured to be selected for Padma Shri this year and I feel proud that my work on Buddhist Thanka art has received its due recognition finally,” Khandu said.
Thanka Art Learners and Their Success
The family members of Khandu informed that in order to promote and preserve the ancient Buddhist Thanka art form, more than 300 students were trained by Khandu free of cost and with fooding and lodging facilities.
It was further informed that some students of Khandu are earning livelihood through the art practices in the State and a few are living a dignified life in abroad.
Bhutia informed that he gets invitations from people across the State and outside seeking his service on the art.
However, his initial years as an artist were not easy. Khandu said that he had to go through a rigorous training for several years to perfect the art form which requires a great deal of hard work and patience.
Khandu still has a zeal and eagerness to train and impart his vast knowledge to the interested individuals. “I am always eager to take forward Buddhist art form to next generation because this unique and wonderful art form should be preserved to keep our traditional artistic heritage out of the risk of extinction.
Present generation must be taught and trained to comprehend the intricacy of Buddhist art to a required perfection to ensure the survival of the art from being extinct”, sadi Khandu.
‘Who after him?’ remains Khandu’s biggest concern as he is worried about very existence of Buddhist Thanka art. Khandu also expressed that to be an expert of Buddhist Thanka art, an artist has to master many aspects of artistic skills for many years to achieve the required artistic brilliance.
He added that the new generations following the art form may get distracted to be the part of the art either due to boredom and intricacy related to the very art.
However, Khandu is hopeful that new generation would carry further the Buddhist Thanka art and keep the thanka art form that he followed and practiced in existence for ever.
“I am hopeful the new generation of Thanka artists will work sincerely for the promotion and preservation of ancient Thanka art form,” Khandu opined.