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LAMO organises a first of its kind painting exhibition by Ladakhi contemporary artists
July 9

Among these Mountains, an exhibition of paintings by nine contemporary artists from Ladakh was opened on 9th July at Ladakh arts and Media Organisation(LAMO).  Shri Rigzin Spalbar, Hon’ CEC, LAHDC Leh was the chief guest on the occasion.

In June, LAMO organised an art camp for Ladakhi artists --Tundup Dorjey Churpon, Tashi Namgail, Chemat Dorjey, Shujat Ali, Tsering Motup, Rigzin Paljor, Kunzes Zangmo, Skalzang Otsal and Isaac Gergan. Some of these artists are studying art in various art colleges of India, others have completed their first degrees. The camp was an extension of a similar one organised by LAMO in June 2013 under the exhibition “Mapping Old Town”, and students worked under the theme of the exhibition. This year they explored the idea “What it means to be a contemporary Ladakhi artist.”

The exhibition consists of 24 paintings made on canvas using oil and acrylic colours and three prints.

A first of its kind exhibition, Isaac Gergan, LAMO’s Arts Officer said that the camp and exhibition are significant building blocks for contemporary art in Ladakh. “The artists are striving for options in sustaining and amplifying art’s role in the daily life of Ladakh. LAMO, together with the artists is committed to take such endeavours further,” said Isaac, hopeful of support and encouragement from the local community as well as the government. On a similar note, Chemet Dorjey, one of the artists pursuing his MFA from Banaras Hindu University, feels that with changing times in Ladakh, modern art should also be encouraged.

Addressing the artists, CEC Rigzen Spalbar said that Ladakh does not lack talent but opportunities and platform, particularly in context of creative arts. He congratulated LAMO for creating such a platform, which will prove to be an important stepping-stone in each of the artist’s careers.

The exhibition is on till July 31st from 11am to 5pm. The works on display are for sale. Part of the proceeds of the sale will go towards setting up a Ladakh Art Fund to support art practices and artists in Ladakh.  



LAMO presents paintings to Ladakh Heart Foundation
July 9

On 9th of July Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation presented six paintings to the children’s ward at the Ladakh Heart Foundation, Agling. The objective was to help transform and humanise the children’s ward. At the same time, LAMO intended to instill and expand awareness to the students on health and environmental issues as well as develop the praxis and artistic skill of the participating students. The workshop was made possible through the generous support of Carina H Chatlani.

In a small reception organised by the LHF, the students were presented with certificates and gifts, in appreciation of their work. The paintings were produced during a workshop organised by LAMO in November last year with eighteen students from various schools of Leh.

The two-week long workshop began with painting first on sheets of paper and later six students were chosen to paint on canvas. In addition to the student’s work, Isaac Gergan, LAMO’s Art Officer created two paintings for the reception area of the hospital.

Venerable Chogyal, LHF, shared immense pleasure in receiving the paintings and commended the children for their talent and hardwork as well as LAMO for organising the workshop.
LAMO hopes that more such initiatives of creating art for public spaces can take place in Ladakh.


Painting workshop with Roman Kames
June 9-14

Roman Kames is an established artist, primarily a painter, from Czech Republic who has been working In Ladakh for over two decades. The medium he works with is tempera and gouache (water-based paint).Roman has been painting from the age of five. He was trained at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His work is influenced by European styles; Ladakh has been a great inspiration for him. His latest works, made in Ladakh, using local painting materials, are on view at Leh Palace till September 7, 2014.

Apart from creating his own work, Roman has held many workshops with children in schools throughout the region.

LAMO held its first workshop with Roman from 9th to 14th June, inviting children from the age group of 8 to 16 years  from various schools in Leh, to participate.

Roman guided the children’s painting practices and refined their skills, introducing them to the use of gouache (water-based paint) on poshok (locally made paper). The significance of the workshop was to give children a platform to express their ideas freely. On the last day of the workshop, Roman took the children to Leh Palace where he gave a special tour of his exhibition. He also spoke to them about western art history and its influence on his work.

An exhibition of the children’s paintings is on at the LAMO Centre till 8 July 2014


LAMO launches children's books
June 6
On Friday 6th June 2014, Mrs Konchok Angmo (Principal DIET) launched LAMO’s first two children’s books – ‘My Way Back From School’ and ‘Ghost Stories from Old Town Leh’. The launch was held in the presence of the children, their friends, parents and teachers.  The children shared their experiences about working on the stories, and the pleasure of seeing their work published.  While Mrs Konchok Angmo commended the children and LAMO for their initiative, and hoped this was the start of more such initiatives.

Both the books were products of story-telling workshops held by Sharon Sonam (LAMO’s former Projects Officer), over 2012-13 as part of LAMO’s ‘Old Town Leh – The Neighbourhood Project’ that was supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai.

The books are available for sale at the LAMO Centre and Leh Ling Stationery Shop, Main Market Leh. If you are interested in ordering a book please get in touch with



Forces and structure - A workshop on building bridges by Nuala power
May 27

As part of the project “Connecting Classrooms”, an educational endeavor sponsored by the British Council, Nuala Power, a teacher from UK conducted a workshop at the LAMO Centre on structural design of bridges. The idea behind the workshop was to help the students understand the forces that come into play when building a structure and how to construct a bridge strong enough using various designs with limited resources.

Nuala began with discussing the importance of bridges in our lives, the structural idea and the mechanism behind different kinds of bridges found around the world.

The second stage was for the students to go around the LAMO Centre and observe different techniques used to support the building. For instance, Tashi Morup, LAMO’s Projects Director explained to the students the relevance of the tapering walls of Leh Palace. He said that such a structure is stronger and in case the building was to collapse, the walls will collapse inwards, hence causing minimal damage to its surroundings.

Once the students had observed their surroundings, it was time to start building the bridges. Nuala made four groups of three and each group was asked to make a bridge (20 cm long and 10 cm tall), with five sheets of paper and limited amount of tape. The students had to innovate so that the bridge was strong enough. Later the bridges were tested with a toy car and then small stones to see how many they could hold. The bridge that held most stones was pronounced the best design.  

The students then shared their experiences about building the bridges, what they learnt and what their structure lacked. In the third stage the students had to improvise their designs, if required, using stronger materials. The bridges were tested again to see how much weight they could bear. Nuala finished with talking about the designs that worked best and why.


Talking textiles - Dialogues around Ladakhi textiles: An exhibition and Workshop
May 5-31

Textiles function as shelter, clothing and coverings. At the same time, they are a reflection of history, culture, social, economic and political relations.

Ladakh produced its own fabric based on local supplies of wool and pashmina, but it also depended on textiles that came in through trade. Silk, cotton and wool were some of the main fabrics transported and exchanged here. Spinning and weaving were done throughout the region.

On 5th May, LAMO held a workshop under the title “Talking Textiles: Dialogues around Ladakhi textiles,” and opened an exhibition of some textiles representative of those made and used in Ladakh.  Professionals dealing in textiles, local tailors, boot (pabu) and hat (ti-bi) makers, designers and dyers attended the workshop.  The main objective of the workshop was to initiate a dialogue around Ladakhi textiles, provide an artistic platform for people from the same profession, share individual stories of working with textiles in Ladakh and learn from each other.

The workshop began with an introduction about textiles and their relevance by Isaac Gergan, LAMO’s Arts Officer, followed by a presentation on Ladakhi textiles by Monisha Ahmed, LAMO’s Exectuvie Director and author of the award-winning book “Living Fabric – Weaving amongst the Nomads of Ladakh Himalaya”. The presentation gave the participants an insight to Ladakhi textiles and their history. It initiated a discussion about how textiles were an integral part of the lives of Ladakhi people and the once thriving art of weaving, the changes in the style of the goncha (male and female robes), and the contemporary relevance of the craft. Most importantly, it raised concerns about the dying art of weaving and the declining acceptance of traditional textiles in the local market.

After going through the textiles on display at the exhibition, the participants talked about their individual professions and their personal experiences. In the end, they worked on a collaborative piece of textile art using various fabrics available in Leh bazaar and relevant to Ladakh. The piece of art is on display at LAMO.  

Talking Textiles; Dialogues around Ladakhi textiles, an exhibition is open for visitors
from 10 am to 5pm

Participants of the workshop
Deskit Angmo (Fashion management professional)
Phuntsog Angmo (Thigma dyer and doll maker)
Manlla Chotak ( Hat (ti-bi) maker)
Jigmat Couture (Fashion Designer)
Sonam Rinchen (Local tailor and instructor)   
Nawang Phuntsog (Nomadic Woollen Mills) ______________________________________________________________________________

Dreaming Leh Town - LAMO at Leh Dosmoche
February 27-28

In December 2013 LAHDC announced that the ‘Leh Beautification Project’ part of the larger project known as 'Construction of Major Projects of Leh Town' has been approved by the Central Government. The project includes amongst other things an augmentation and re-organisation of Leh’s road network and parking system, water supply, drainage and sewage system, and solid waste management. As the citizens of Leh town look forward to the implementation of the project LAMO decided to invite them to articulate and share their hopes and aspirations for the development of Leh town.

A large canvas was set up in Lal Chowk in the main bazaar, as well as one at the LAMO Centre, and people were invited to voice their thoughts, make visual renderings, write their comments, quotes and poems. This was an extension of the Dream Home project that LAMO has been conducting in Old Town Leh – asking residents of that area to express their hopes and aspirations for Old Town. These canvases take that a step further, encompassing all of
Leh town and asking a wider community to express their vision for the development of Leh,
how they see it taking shape and what is the future they dream of.

Born out of the idea of LAHDC’s announcement of the ‘Leh Beautification Project’ LAMO
hopes that the two canvases will be part of a larger public art collaborative work that will be
put on display later in the year.


Design Process and Symbol Design - A Workshop by Chamspa Rinchen Dorje
January 20-25

In the last week of January, LAMO organised a workshop on Design Process and Symbol Design. This was conducted by graphic designer Chamspa Rinchen Dorje. Over 20 people participated in the workshop, some of them students and others working professionals from fields such as graphics, editing, etc who wished to enhance their skills and learn under Chamspa’s guidance.   

Chamspa started the workshop by explaining the basics of designing a symbol – which included such things as the understanding of the use of appropriate font styles, size and colour. He followed this by talking about the process of developing a logo and over the next six days discussed all the important aspects related to designing a logo. These included the idea of logos and their relevance, concept and ideas behind popular logos and symbols such as the one recently designed for the Indian Rupee.

Since 2010 LAMO has been working on a project for Old Town Leh, mapping the area and covering many aspects including a study of the art forms and responding to them by creating art. At this workshop it was decided that each participant would work on designing a logo relevant to Old Town Leh. Chamspa guided the participants through developing an idea, first on paper and eventually turning them into logos using various design software. The designs were inspired by concepts related to tradition, culture and heritage.
An exhibition of the logos will be held at the LAMO Centre in the coming months.

Chamspa Rinchen Dorje has a Masters Degree from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and has worked extensively with icon and symbol designs. Amongst his recent works is one created for the new T2 airport in Mumbai, India. Presently, he is working on a series of posters on calligraphy and researching for a map of Leh town.


Author workshop with Shri Sonam Phunshok
January 10

The first author workshop of 2014, held under LAMO’s library programme – Exploring Learning Beyond the Confines of Syllabii – was held on 10th January. Sonam Phunshok, author of the book Ladakh Annals was the resource person for the workshop. A resident of Achinathang village, in Sham (Lower Ladakh), 75 year old Phunshok shared his experience about writing the Ladakh Annals series of books.

An avid researcher, Phunshok spoke to the children from Old Town and other guests present on a range of topics covered in his latest book edition. These included the Leh Palace, advent of Buddhism in Ladakh, significance of the Chokhang (Gompa Soma) and origin of traditions such as the offering of khataks (white ceremonial scarves). Phunshok shared that the Leh palace has 204 rooms and the thickness of the palace walls at the base is as much as six feet wide, tapering to two feet at the top.

Phunshok also shared that the Chokhang was built in the year 1957 under the leadership of Kushok Bakula, who wanted to create a common assembly hall for different Buddhist sects in Ladakh.

After the talk, there was an interactive session with the children, where they were asked to name Ladakhi words and name of objects starting with each letter of the Ladakhi alphabet. The word was then explained and discussed and clarified with Phunshok.

Also present in the audience were Dr Sonam Spalzin, author of the book Shesrig; Jigmet Lundup, an amateur photographer and visitors from Malaysia and Hong Kong. Their presence added to the interaction and discussion, making it more interesting and varied.


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