The art scene in Nepal is continually evolving, with numerous artists pushing its boundaries to new heights. Currently, at the Takpa Gallery in Lazimpat, an exciting exhibition is underway featuring 17 talented artists, each with their own unique art styles, including drawing, sculpture, contemporary Mithila art, embroidery, and print-making. The showcased paintings explore a wide range of diverse themes, making the exhibition even more captivating.
For art enthusiasts, the Takpa Gallery is the exclusive venue to witness the exceptional works of these artists. The exhibition commenced on July 8th and will run until August 12th, providing ample time for visitors to immerse themselves in the creativity and innovation displayed by these Nepali artists.
Upon entering the gallery space, your attention will be immediately drawn to the sculptures. Among them is a remarkable wooden piece crafted by the talented artist Bhuban Thapa, who greeted visitors with a warm smile as we arrived. The sculpture consists of four interconnected chains intricately carved from a single block of wood. Bhuban Thapa is renowned for his unique artistic approach, combining poetic lines with his creations. He shared with us that he once dreamt of fashioning chains from a rock, but due to its impossibility, he transformed his vision into this captivating wooden sculpture.
At first glance, the sculpture’s dots and small lines resemble constellations, but when we inquired about its significance, the artist responded with humility, saying, “I’ve chosen to let my audience interpret it in their own way.” This open-ended interpretation invites viewers to find their own meaning and connection with the artwork.
Presenting another captivating painting is Bharat Rai, an artist driven by a deep exploration of people’s inner lives through symbolic representations of the conflicts they face throughout their journeys. In his latest artwork, he introduces flying donkeys soaring through city landscapes, symbolizing the pursuit of new horizons and possibilities.
Bharat Rai’s artistic approach can sometimes be satirical and humorous, as he draws from the experiences of his village life, where he encountered the hardships of existence. The memories of chasing donkeys along the remote roads of Solukhumbu have left a profound imprint on his subconscious, guiding the direction of his creative endeavors. Through his art, he skillfully blends his observations of human struggles with imaginative symbolism, inviting viewers to ponder the complexities of life’s inner workings.
Two printmaking artworks created by the talented and aspiring artist, Bidhyaman Tamang, have taken shape on zinc plates and transferred onto paper. These artworks draw inspiration from the traditional thangka painting style, featuring an intriguing composition. Stacked on top of each other are an elephant, a monkey, a rabbit, and a bird, all working together to reach for an apple hanging from a tree. According to Bidhyaman, purports to foster harmony within the household.
Adding a unique touch to his creations, Bidhyaman crafted two artworks, each following a circular composition resembling eyes. It’s as if the artwork itself perceives the world through the lens of harmony observed by these symbolic animals. The circular format further enhances the theme of unity and interconnectedness, inviting viewers to delve deeper into the narrative woven within the captivating artwork.
An intriguing and captivating artwork displayed at the exhibition belongs to Hitesh Vaidya, a talented artist hailing from Bhaktapur, his birthplace. Hitesh’s chosen canvas for his creations is thick agrath wooden planks sourced from his neighborhood, connecting his work to the traditional architecture prevalent in the area where he grew up. These planks, along with old doors and windows, exude a nostalgic charm, reminiscent of his childhood surroundings.
In his latest work, Hitesh has taken a fresh direction in his composition and palette, drawing inspiration from traditional narrative paintings. The Kathmandu Valley, once adorned with magnificent murals on its houses and temples, has witnessed the gradual replacement of these age-old artworks with modern structures as time and modernity have advanced.
To rekindle those fading memories of the past, artist Hitesh has ingeniously incorporated acrylic drawings into actual bricks. This innovative approach breathes new life into the ancient art form, allowing viewers to rediscover the beauty of the bygone era’s murals. His artwork not only pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the region but also serves as a reminder of the significance of preserving and cherishing our artistic roots.
Presenting yet another artist, Kapil Mani Dixit, who is showcasing his remarkable artwork in this exhibition. Back in 2004, Kapil completed his studies in the USA, and since then, he has been leaving a significant mark in the art scene. His unique approach to nude art involves the prominent use of three colors: black, yellow, and white. For Kapil, ideas and creativity strike in spontaneous bursts of inspiration. As a result, his drawings are often extempore, created within a mere two minutes, even after spending over two decades in the art field.
In his paintings, Kapil focuses on minimizing details to emphasize the thought process behind each artwork. He believes in giving importance to the concept rather than intricate particulars. Moreover, he ingeniously intertwines his nude art with the urban landscape of the Kathmandu valley, creating a fascinating connection between the human form and the bustling cityscape. Kapil’s artwork delves into the intricacies of human expression and emotions, inviting viewers to contemplate the underlying stories behind each piece.
From the picturesque district of Mugu comes another gifted artist, Min Thapa, whose artwork captures the essence of vibrant and colorful dots resembling the wildflowers that adorn the lush pasture lands of his homeland. However, Min has noticed how climate change and global warming have impacted the texture and appearance of these flowers over time.
In his heart, Min cherishes memories of a distant past when these flowers bloomed in even more brilliant hues. To preserve and express the beauty of those cherished moments, he skillfully employs the impressionist technique in his art. Through the careful arrangement of dots on his canvas, serves as an inspiration for the artist’s style, drawing from the wildflowers. However, the artwork as a whole delves into the profound themes concerning global warming, urbanization’s impact on landscapes and the resulting loss of animal habitats.
Participating in this exhibition is the talented and promising artist, Durga Sunuwar, aka ‘Sara Tunich Koinch’. Through her artwork, she addresses the challenge of modernity eroding ethnic roots, and she strives to reintegrate these roots into the canvas by juxtaposing traditional attires with modern gadgets and dressing styles.
Sara’s work for this exhibition draws inspiration from pop culture and delves into the concept of time and its impact on cultures and traditions. In her paintings, figures adorned in traditional dresses are portrayed capturing moments with smartphones, symbolizing the influence of technology on contemporary lifestyles. Through this representation, Sara raises thought-provoking questions about the awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage among the current generation. She expresses concern about the authenticity of modern mixed cultures, questioning whether they are upheld for genuine cultural preservation or merely for social media purposes.
In her artwork, Sara skillfully incorporates elements of patterns and symbols used in ritual practices, further emphasizing the significance of cultural heritage. Moreover, the Kirat language inscribed in the background script adds a touch of authenticity, reflecting the deep connection with her own cultural identity. Through her compelling paintings, Sara stimulates reflections on the evolving nature of cultures and traditions in the face of rapid technological advancements.
S.C. Suman, a prominent Mithila artist, stands out for his unique approach of blending modern elements with traditional Mithila painting. Through his art, he skillfully weaves a contemporary touch into this ancient art form. The themes he explores revolve around Buddhism, with two distinct canvases depicting the iconic Swoyambhunath and the revered Gautam Buddha.
Renowned for his impeccable patterns and attention to detail, this promising artist brings to life the images of Swoyambhunath and Gautam Buddha in his artwork. He draws inspiration from personal experiences, sharing that the image of Swayambhunath was visible from the window of his home near Chhauni.
As a master artist, S.C. Suman has achieved significant recognition and has grown remarkably in his artistic journey. Visitors to his exhibition are always captivated and intrigued by his paintings, as they can reflect on their own experiences of visiting these sacred places. The fusion of modernity with the traditional essence in his work creates a captivating and contemplative atmosphere, leaving the audience in awe of his artistic prowess.
Among the talented artists featured in the exhibition is Sunita Maharjan, whose captivating artworks are on display. Using watercolors and collage on paper, Sunita’s paintings exude serenity and focus on specific objects while maintaining a simple background. This artistic approach draws the viewers’ attention entirely into the heart of the painting.
In her art, Sunita beautifully depicts age-old vehicles that are no longer in use, now covered in the winding vines of Chayote. These paintings serve as poignant reminders of the enduring power of nature. Despite human achievements seemingly conquering nature, Sunita’s artworks gently convey the inevitable cycle of life, where everything ultimately returns to nature’s embrace.
The intertwining of the vehicles with vibrant Chayote vines speaks of the harmony and balance that nature seeks to restore. Sunita’s paintings leave an indelible impression, provoking contemplation on the transient nature of human existence and the timeless resilience of the natural world.
As a group exhibition, a plethora of artworks from both young and veteran artists graces the display. This diverse collection showcases the unique perspectives of the artists, each having their own “windows” through which they perceive the world. Aptly named ‘Windows to the Sky,’ the exhibition encapsulates the individual visions and insights of the creators.
Each artist’s interpretation and view remain exclusive to them, making their creations all the more intriguing and distinctive. If you have an appreciation for art, this exhibition is an absolute “not-to-miss” opportunity. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating world of artistic expression, where the sky’s the limit for creativity and imagination.