GARPA the attendant

Pema Tshering2015/2015

Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre
London, United Kingdom

Pema Tshering (born 1 July 1985) is a Bhutanese contemporary artist, illustrator, designer and founder of the first comics studio in Bhutan called Thimphu Comics (2013) with which he self-published GARPA the attendant (2016). Tintin, as he is popularly referred to, re-examines Buddhist and Bhutanese concepts, freeing them from their expected, familiar contexts and reframing their meaning. GARPA is a graphic novel based on the story of Bhutanese legend of Garba Lungi Khorlo, known to be able to ‘run like the wind’, who was the official messenger or attendant for the ruling leaders. The fictional story set in 1800s Bhutan is the first graphic novel produced from Bhutan by a collective of artists headed by Pema Tshering.

This work features in Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics, a Barbican International Enterprises exhibition, curated by Paul Gravett. Mangasia presents a vivid journey through the art of Comics and visual storytelling across Asia. From its historical roots to the most recent digital innovations, the exhibition looks to popular Japanese ‘Manga’ and beyond, highlighting key creators, characters and publications.


  • Title: GARPA the attendant
  • Creator: Pema Tshering
  • Date: 2015/2015
  • Location Created: Bhutan
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Thimphu Comics
  • Medium: Drawing

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