2016 marks the 400 years of the legacy of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. To commemorate and pay tribute to the Zhabdrung, Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck inaugurated two exhibitions at the Royal Textile Academy today.
The first exhibition titled “Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel: The Founding Father” displays sacred relics belonging to the Zhabdrung and some of his reincarnations. Sacred relics from Gasa, Jarogang, Simtokha and Hongtsho Tashigang have been brought together for the first time for this exhibition.
The second exhibition is “Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel: A Biography Through Kuthangs. The nineteen kuthangs on display is a pictorial biography that epitomizes the amalgamation of traditional artistic skills, reverence and gratitude.
Her Majesty highlighted during the inauguration of the exhibition that Zhabdrung is the founder of our nation, our “Drinchen Gi Pham” and that “it would be difficult to imagine Bhutan today without the strong foundation of unity, identity and nationhood laid down by the Zhabdrung.”
This exhibition would not have been possible without the input of many stakeholders. The Royal Textile Academy and the Textile Museum would like to thank The Majesties the King and the Gyaltsuen, the Central Monastic Body, the Royal Government and the Department of Culture for their whole-hearted support and many other who worked behind the scene. We would also like to specifically thank the owners and custodians of these relics for loaning these artifacts for the exhibition and providing a rare opportunity for the general Bhutanese population to pay their respects and reverence to our founding father.
We would also like to humbly thank our Royal Patron, Her Majesty Gyalyum, Sangay Choden Wangchuck for being the tireless driving force behind the conceptualization of this project. Without Her Majesty’s personal guidance and unstinted support, these exhibitions would not have seen the light of the day.
The exhibition “Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel: The Founding Father” will be open for six months while the second exhibition, “Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel: A Biography Through Kuthangs” will be open till the end of October 2016.