Wild strokes

In the South Asian country of Bhutan, tigers are symbols of luck. As such, Zimbiri Dorij ’13 (whose legal name is “Zimbiri”) grew up seeing the striking animal painted on the walls of houses and Buddhist temples in her native Thimphu, the country’s capital.

For her artwork, recently on exhibit at the Visual Arts Gallery in New Delhi, India, Zimbiri painted tigers in this traditional Bhutanese medium. Her paintings show off their vibrant reddish-orange fur and the unique patterns of their vertical stripes, as well as their expressions and body language.

The Pioneer, an English-speaking newspaper widely circulated in India, recently highlighted Zimbiri’s painting exhibit in the Sept. 3, 2019, article “Beyond Aesthetic Elegance.”

“Zimbiri’s works are gentle like the breeze that wafts across the mountains. Her tigers speak of great passages in time, a strong sense of physicality, a rhythmic sumptuous beauty of mane and luxuriant stripes that echo the integrity of nature’s perfection,” Uma Nair wrote in The Pioneer.

Zimbiri said her Wheaton liberal arts experience—and in particular working with Associate Professor of Art Patricia Stone and Professor of Art Emeritus Andy Howard—informed her development as an artist.

“The course ‘Color Theory’ taught me the importance of relativity; my design classes taught me the importance of boundaries and how to push them; and “Art History” taught me the importance of culture in art,” Zimbiri said.

She added that her coursework in sculpture helped her develop a 3D perspective and a better understanding of form, which was especially helpful in painting realistic tigers that seem to jump off the canvas.

“There were many courses and professors at Wheaton whose lessons and guidance helped shape my mind and personality. I will forever be grateful to them,” she said.