Choki Traditional Art School
Choki Art School
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Dasho Choki Dorji had the idea of starting a private traditional art school. He has served the government for the last 40 years by promoting art and culture and was the head of the Painting Department of the National Painting School and initiated many programs within the department. It was during his tenure in the early 1970s that the first formal Painting School in Bhutan was established with the approval of Her Royal Highness Ashi Dechen Wangmo Wangchuck, then the representative of His Majesty in the Ministry of Development. This is how the school has been benefiting from Dasho’s rich experience and expertise.


The rich cultural heritage which is the basis of our Bhutanese identity, values and sovereignty has been handed down from generation to generation and kept alive even in times of rapid technical developments.

However, times have changed and are changing. In the past, our children learned from their parents. Girls were taught spinning, dying and weaving by their mothers. Sons were taught to carve, treadle lathe for turning bowls, sculpturing and drawing and painting. Unfortunately many young people today have little knowledge of the skills of their parents or grandparents. Nor do they see the importance or relevance of these skills to themselves in a new Bhutan, where videos and computers represent contemporary cultural values and white color jobs are the aspiration of most students. This struggle for white color jobs and  the limited availability of jobs are discouraging to young people and make them dissatisfied, aimless and create all sorts of social problems.

By teaching and promoting the traditional skills of Bhutan we have the potential to create jobs. Zorig Chusum (Thirteen Crafts) can provide a real source of income and employment. Bhutan cannot produce cheap garments, factory products or assemble watches and computers. Bhutan’s distinct advantage lies in its unique culture and in the crafts which the Bhutanese can produce better than anyone else.

Many of our children drop out of school or are not even admitted because  parents cannot afford it. We feel that neglecting such young people will create more problems, which are already becoming more prominent in the society. Therefore, to help interested children with such backgrounds we have opened the school and provide food, lodging and tuition.

The establishment of the school is helping to solve some of the employment related problems as the graduates from the school are able to earn their livelihood by producing handicraft items which are traditionally and culturally Bhutanese and which have substantial commercial value.


Choki Traditional Art Scool is the only private institute providing training on traditional arts and crafts in Bhutan. The school provides free tuition, food and lodging facilities to the economically disadvantaged youth of Bhutan.

The Department of Occupational Standards, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources conducted an institutional registration survey of all the training institutions in the country to formally recognize and certify the training providers to deliver courses upon meeting the minimum quality standards.  The institutions are categorized as grade A, B and C based on the minimum assessment criteria. While no institutes were categorized in ‘A’ , we are happy that CTAS is one of the few institutions placed in category ‘B’ and  we hope in the near future we can upgrade to A level.  

  • Letter from His Royal Highness Prince Namgyal Wangchuck [CLICK HERE TO VIEW LETTER]

  • His Majesty Awarded the National Order of Merit (Silver) to Dasho Choki Dorji on 17 December 2010 on the Bhutan’s National Day Celebration for serving the people and the country with exceptional effort and merit.  Dasho Choki Dorji was awarded the medal for the promotion of art and culture in the country and for establishing the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (13 arts and crafts) Institute in Bhutan. [CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTO]

  • Registration certificate with the department of occupational standard, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources [CLICK HERE TO VIEW CERTIFICATE]



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© 2009 Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) ... .Website Last updated on 23rd December, 2013