Voices of the Voiceless at the Gallery

Sunil Raj Dhakal
Sunil Raj Dhakal December 7, 2023
7 Min Read

Takpa Gallery currently showcases a new exhibition featuring collaborative works from approximately 30 artists. The theme centers around Gender-Based Violence and equality between the sexes.

For the current exhibition, Artist Bhuwan Thapa introduces a novel way of conveying his thoughts. He presents an imagery featuring two interconnected wheels—one small and the other large—to symbolize the parallel nature of male and female relationships. However, despite this analogy, the artwork reflects on the disparity present in society, where females continue to face oppression. Iron bells are strategically placed at the sides of the imagery, symbolizing the chariot itself.

Ishan Pariyar’s latest artwork, titled ‘Vicious Thought,’ delves into the psychology of those who deliberately objectify and harass women and girls in society. Through his skillful portrayal on canvas, Pariyar captures the mindset of culprits, and the somber atmosphere depicted in the painting reinforces the underlying theme.

Art Work: Bhuwan Thapa and Ishan Pariyar

In a distinct approach, emerging artist Kamal Shrestha challenges societal norms by reversing traditional gender roles. Shrestha asserts that even colors play a role in gender associations, with pink often linked to feminism and blue to masculinity. By encouraging a switch in the roles of males and females and fostering an understanding of each other’s perspectives, Shrestha believes that this approach can swiftly resolve numerous conflicts.

Artist Man Bahadur Bal contributes a wooden sculpture to the exhibition, titled ‘Human Soul.’ This piece aims to express his perspective on gender dynamics by intricately carving masculine and feminine features into a wooden base. The sculpture symbolizes a fluid relationship, highlighting acceptance and collaboration between the two genders.

Art work: Kamal Shrestha and Man Bahadur Bal

Muna Bhadel, another artist featured in the exhibition, presents ‘An Untold Story.’ Her artwork delves into the experiences of prostitutes who navigate uncertainties and fears, whether voluntarily or out of necessity. Using a combination of photographs, text, and mixed media, Bhadel skillfully captures the theme of indecisiveness. Her work portrays the complex life story of sex-worker women, shedding light on their struggles for the right to live safely and with dignity in society.

Sabita Dangol is showcasing her artwork titled ‘Expectation,’ shedding light on the prevailing issue of dowry in Nepalese society. Despite the couple’s aspirations for a happy life, societal norms, particularly in some communities, perpetuate the tradition of giving and taking dowry. This practice often subjects bridegrooms to humiliation and degradation. Dangol advocates for the cessation of such harmful practices throughout society.

Art work: Muna Bhadel and Sabita Dangol

Another artist, Sara Tunich Kuinch, presents her artwork ‘Nature and Nurture’ in the exhibition. Using the metaphor of pouring water as a symbol of nurture, she portrays the boat as a representation of dreams and aspirations. Simultaneously, her attire reflects the Sunuwar culture, adding a cultural dimension to her artistic expression.

Roshan Pradhan, another artist, showcases his artwork titled ‘Violence against Peace,’ which addresses the disturbing practice of abandoning or abusing young girls simply because of their gender. Pradhan contends that despite technological progress, there persists a psychological backwardness in society. His painting features a young girl placed on a flower in a harsh, desert-like environment, reminiscent of imagery found in a thangka. The presentation of these images is particularly striking.

Art work: Sara Tunich Kuinch and Roshan Pradhan

Bishal Saru Magar, a sculpture artist, contributes a statue titled ‘Women Empowerment.’ This sculpture symbolizes the strength of women breaking free from the hegemony of male supremacy, standing as a formidable force. The woman depicted stands above a stone, representing the rigid and brute weight of societal expectations and limitations imposed on women. Magar skillfully weaves together symbolic representations of the surroundings and the beauty of the woman in this impactful statue.

In Sofiya Maharjan’s mixed media piece titled “My dolls are happier than me,” she portrays the lives of children who are exposed to domestic violence from a very young age. This early exposure often results in a diminished sense of self-worth, hindering the formation of nurturing bonds with either parent. Such circumstances frequently lead these children towards isolation and a lack of self-confidence. The handmade dolls, inanimate objects by nature, appear to exude more happiness than the individuals themselves, reflecting the harsh reality of society.

Art work: Bishal Saru Magar and Sofiya Maharjan

Bharat Rai, another artist featured in the exhibition, presents his artwork titled ‘Mankumari.’ In this painting, a shovel, commonly associated with the hard work traditionally attributed to males supporting their families, takes center stage. Rai acknowledges that, in reality, there are also females working with the same tools in construction sites. Through his artwork, he aims to give credit to all laborers, irrespective of gender.

Artist Min Thapa explores the narrative of homosexual marriage and sharing in his painting titled “Parallel.” The artwork portrays the story of two women sharing their happiness, a theme that is not universally accepted by society. Meanwhile, Kripa Shakya, another artist, delves into the societal perspective on girls and women commuting in their daily lives. She believes that this is an issue every female encounters in their daily experiences.

Art work: Bharat Rai and Min Thapa

This exhibition stands as a project to commemorate the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence. The participating artists, carefully selected for their outstanding contributions, have done an exceptional job in contributing to this initiative. This exhibition began on 25th of November and is going to continue till the 10th of December.

Art work: Kripa Shakya

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