Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cover For A PowerPoint Presentation

This is the design of a cover of a PowerPoint presentation I prepared for a client who was interested in buying photographs of Bhutanese faces. The face that is featured on the cover is that of Ngangsel Wangda, my niece who was at that time about 20 years old.

If I had a choice, I would not have depicted a young face on that cover because I believe that such faces are not representative of the traditional Bhutan which is what appeals to the outside world. However, I am in no position to impose my will on my clients who, on the contrary, argue that in the new millennium, faces with painted lips and plucked eyes brows and heads full of psychedelic hair has taken over from my doma stained and goiter ridden faces of the old.

The allure of the clients' money was simply irresistible! So, I acted subservient and gave them the show they wanted to see. As for the validity of my truth over theirs, that discussion can happen at a time and place when money does not come into the equation. It is a risky business to discuss intellectual matters when money is at stake!


  1. Interesting post, and thank you for your honestly. It sounds to me that you're disappointed and ashamed of your decision. Providing a service to your client is a privilege and duty, and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and viewpoints. Remember: Beauty is in the eyes of the beholders.

    I routinely provide service to my customers who undergo cosmetic surgery to "improve" their physical attributes, and in many case, we as health care providers do not think that the surgery are "NEEDED". It bothered me a lot at the beginning, but after a while, I started to realize that I'm providing a service to them to make them feel better about themselves, besides "improving" the outside, the surgery are also "improving" the way they look at themselves, the way to gain confidence. I then realized that "WHO AM I" to make judgement on other's decision? Only God can judge at the end. We all just one another equal living beings, trying to survive, trying to go on with our lives.

    Now I actually enjoy putting people to sleep for cosmetic surgery, and I always ensure them with love, care, and "the best sleep" they've ever had...people really appreciate that.

  2. I've always loved that photograph of your niece. But I'm with you on this. Bhutan's rich ethnic heritage is written on the faces of the elderly generation, not often in books or journals, definitely not in Bhutan's youth today. Your photo of the lady carrying pine needles, blind in one eye, is one of my favorites. Likewise, I miss reading the stories by that rascally friend of yours. Nothing on the current book shelves is as captivating. I'm still waiting (even patiently!) for you to do a full book on the people of Bhutan.
    ~ E

  3. i love all your work. i feel that you are the only one in bhutan who does it well. i am a dieheart fan of yours.

  4. Hi E and Kit

    Thanks for the comments. Been out at Punakha - just got back.

  5. Hello there,
    lovely photograph and what an inspiring dilemma before you decided with the cover. But as always, it is saddening to know that even the few like you, who have the intellect to think ultimately succumb $$$$$. I am wondering if there is any hope left in this world????? isn't there any other alternatives to measuring our humanly deed in only material success like you said??
    What is the use of " the intellectual richness" if one chooses to be a part of the pattern of madness that life is?
    To do something knowing that it is not correct is far worse than "acute intellectual impotency." But I guess money talks and bullshit works. That is the way the world is and must be.
    Some are without intellect while others without courage. I wish to be in the first.

    And Kit...
    with great respect to your work, in my opinion your work is only helping to reinforce the fact that your cleints are ugly and need some surgery to relieve them temporarily before it leads to another bigger problem.
    Remember Beauty is skindeep. Trust me, if you can focus on improving their inner beauty rather tha n physical beauty it will really really boost their confidence.
    Right now, you are only helping in building a house of illusion for your clients and thinkig that you are serving god by making them happy.
    Remember! there are no gods,
    Only people like you, me, your cleints and others.
    We just need to be 'AWAKE'.
    Doestn't mean that I am AWAKE but i am trying my best to awaken myself.

  6. Hi awakening,

    Thank you for the visit. It is indeed a paradox but you have to admit that $$$$ is a mighty leveller :)

    By vocation, I am a businessman. I agree to offer a service in exchange for the client's money. The terms of engagement in a transaction of a business nature is that I offer a service that is desired by the client and the client, in consideration of the service that is required of me, agrees to pay me a pre-determined sum of money that is acceptable to me. Thereafter, whether written or not, my contractual obligation to my client is to deliver a service as described and desired by the client. It is of little consequence whether or not I agree with the client’s morality.