Several of you identified the image in the last “Big picture” as a horse. That is correct. Well done.
But Passang’s answer was the most accurate. He said that the image was a “Picture of the horse (lungta) on a faded prayer flag.”
The big picture is, quite literally, a painting of a horse on an old prayer flag. In fact, the prayer flag, with the lungta (or windhorse) printed in the middle, is clearly visible in the painting. To Karma Wangdi, the artist, that lungta, drawn within a square border, looked confined and trapped. So he set it free. That’s why he painted the white horse, emerging from the prayer flag, and galloping at full speed, to freedom.
Karma Wangdi, popularly known as Asha Karma, says that the aim of the lungta prayer flags is to release one’s good nature and positive energy so as to accumulate merit and fortune. But he feels that the lungta printed on the prayer flags are, themselves, confined within a square border. Worse still, Asha Karma laments that most of the prayer flags today are made from non-degradable polyester material that trap the lungta for decades, long after the prayer flags have done their work and have come down, littering the landscape.
So Asha Karma has been busy freeing the lungta from old, discarded prayer flags. He’s been doing that for the past 13 years, during which time he’s completed no less than 40 paintings depicting horses of in various shapes and sizes, all furiously galloping away to their freedom.
And to help him on his mission, Asha Karma has trained dozens of young artists in his studio at VAST to also allegorically free horses from old prayer flags.
But he and his young volunteers have also literally freed countless lungtas – they’ve visited popular prayer flag sites (like Sangaygang and Dochula) to collect and properly dispose old, discarded prayer flags.
Passang should contact me to claim his prize, a copy of one of Asha Karma’s paintings. For the rest of you, I’ve uploaded some photos from Asha Karma’s “windhorse series” in the gallery. Enjoy.