By Lieneke Hulshof

Passang Tobgay is the first and only contemporary artist from Bhutan, where attempts are being made to preserve its ancient culture and landscape. The people of Bhutan have only had internet access since 1999, mobile telephones since 2003 and that was reluctantly. Passang Tobgay grew up in a small isolated rural village. At 18 years of age, Tobgay decided to study at Bhutan's school of art in the country's capital. There he learned to paint figures and patterns according to religious traditions. Buddhism has many significant symbols that may not be altered. Since attending the Rietveld Academy, he has been making sand sculptures that hark back to Buddhist ideas about death and life.