Freeing horses

Free me ...

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.

Free ... at last

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.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Yangka Chojay says

    Oh! that was great. Glad to hear that la OL…
    I have try to answer that but i couldn’t do as i thought it was a logo of your party. Thanks…!

  2. I should share this prize with passang lambu;) I sure did get the artist right.

    But seriously passang did get the detailed picture and I got the big picture after you explained behind asha’s lungta series.

    The paintings, the artist and the explanation is beautiful. Thank you.

  3. Asha Kama’s Painting! Now if i knew that was the prize i would have worked harder to guess!!!!!

  4. Freeing the Lungta is good, but the horse galloping away without the Lungta Gyeltshen Tsemoi Pungjom on its back is bad. The empty galloping horse brigns no luck that made PDP loose so badly in 2008.

    Out of the box or inside the box, the horse is just a carrier. The actual “force of victory” (Gyelsthen Pungjom) is the “Norbu” carried by the horse. Without the Norbu, a horse remains an ordinary horse….OL and Azha Karma should inquire about it to the learned scholars.

  5. Thank you very much Opposition Leader. All the very best to all others for the next one.

  6. This has nothing to do with galloping horses and “norbhus” etc. but galloping fuels prices. Please feel free to post it anywhere.

    1) Is our government devising any strategy to be more energy secure? From a layman’s perspective, energy imports in the form of petrol and diesel must be draining our rupee resources which are already at economically detrimental levels.

    2) An increase in the price of fuel has a domino effect on the price of nearly everything; vegetables, house rents, commodities and whatever. A more wholesome strategy is need rather than “what to do, we can’t do anything about a rise in the price in India”.

    3) What about the stock of fuel in the storage tanks at fuel stations? Every time there is an increase in the cost of fuel, I feel ripped off by the fuel dealers. Their stock of fuel was bought at yesterday’s price but as soon as the price increase is valid, they sell it at the new price. Of course, cars line up a day before the rise in price and there is evaporation and cost of storage and a hosts of other reasons but I am still curious about how much money they make every time there is an increase in the fuel price.

  7. Tshering Lhamo says

    Lyenpo. Where should i collect the painting won by passang norbu?

  8. tashi choden says

    I hope Passang is not a member of VAST and have seen the painting before…
    hahaha 🙂 well done other wise Passang…

  9. OL

    Wish you all the best…………

  10. Tenzin penjore says

    We are having one of the biggest earthquakes and our PM Jigmi Y. Thinley is busy globetrotting. Is his New York and other cushy trips more important than our poor people suffering aftermath of the earthquake. His government has conveniently blocked a very popular site after it was filled with several damaging stories of the PM and his gang of unscrupulous leaders having been involved with acquiring lands from poor farmers and having alloted to thelselves. Our GNH country has so many rape cases and incidents of crime and umemployment.

    What is OL doing on this?

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