The Preparations for the Vienna Exhibition | Installation


The installation in the exhibition rooms took many months. The philosophy of the exhibition design had, as its goal, to present the objects within the context of their use in Bhutan. The objects should not be individually shown in separate display cases but, rather in their own environment in which they, by their use in Bhutan, obtain their meaning.



So we decided, for example, not to display religious objects or vessels used for offerings individually. Rather we chose to leave them in their place, in an altar, in their original totality. For this an altar was taken apart in Bhutan, was rebuilt again in Vienna and then furnished with the objects.



In a similar manner, we dealt with the objects coming from the everyday life of the farmers. A scenario of an alpine pasture was rebuilt and there we placed yak saddles or containers.

A large part of the installation was completed by the employees of the museum. However, for certain specific tasks, special companies had to hired.

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At the end of the exhibition hall, the life of the animal breeders in the alpine pastures was depicted. First, the site for the tents of a typical nomad camp had to be built, after that the appropriate objects were placed.

An external company was appointed to build the frame of a fortress facade in the hall. The entrance gate and four original windows from Bhutan were mounted into the wall.

An altar which had been dismounted in Bhutan was rebuilt in the museum. It was the centerpiece of the room with the topic of monastic Buddhism.

Altar, wood; clay statues; 19th century; measurements 270 x 380 x 70 centimeters; on loan from Tobgye S. Dorje
The altar and all the statues originate from the temple room of the Gangtey Palace in Paro.
The statues in the center:
Left: Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founder of the State of Bhutan
Center: Buddha Shakyamuni, the historistic Buddha
Right: Guru Rinpoche, the mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan
On the right wing:
Upper right: Vajrapani, Bodhisattva in his wrathful appearance
Upper left: Jambhala, a god of wealth
Lower left: Jambhala
On the left wing:
Upper right: Syama-Tara, the embodiment of compassionate love
Upper left: Sita-Tara
Lower right: Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning, Music and Poetry
Lower left: religious texts
There is also an animated version of the altar.