There is a creative side of each one of us, which when grooming and practiced well, can create wonders. Realizing this, some prominent people born in the mid-nineteenth century in Nepal chased their inclination toward art despite belonging to different academic and professional backgrounds and emerged as self-taught artists. With some guidance and support of renowned senior artists, they have brought in their expertise from fields including political science, history, and human rights, expressing new perspectives and emotions in the contemporary art world of Nepal. Additionally, there are some more artists from this era who have been academically and professionally groomed well, going to art schools and learning theoretical and practical aspects of art from artists belonging to different countries. This generation of artists got comparatively more exposure to newer techniques and forms of art than the senior artists and have been sharing their experiences with the younger generation of emerging artists. Many of them are part ofSirjana Contemporary Art Gallery andSirjana College of Fine Arts team. Their art pieces were on display at the collective art exhibition Sirjana-2018held in Kathmandu in May 2018.
CONTEMPLATING THEIR ART PIECES
No relationship is as beautiful as that of a mother and her child. Another can be as soft as silk when it comes to nurturing her child but she can also turn into a tigress if her child needs protection. ArtistMahen Mohan Shrestha depicts this beautiful relationship in his painting ‘Vision’. Inside a blue-walled room on a comfortable orange mattress sits a mother with her child on her lap. The child seems to feel warm, safe and pampered. She holds her child tight, thinking of her child’s future. The child is chubby- plump face, arms, and legs. While these are signs that the child will grow up to be an amazing human being under the mother’s care, the image also raises many questions; is she financially secure to be able to provide for the child? Will she be able to raise her child right?
Artist Rajesh Gautam’s art pieces are influenced by his academic and professional background and we can see traces of his knowledge on human rights activism, politics, and history in his artwork. For his oil painting ‘Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow’, he has used different shades of these four colors that fit perfectly together, giving us a very soothing sight. Yellow perhaps denotes light- the hopes of people that tomorrow will be a better day. Red signifies revolution and gives the message that we should always be faithful towards our duties but also should not hesitate to fight for our rights. Green represents happiness and peace that we acquire after a revolution. Blue probably implies that the sky is boundless and all human beings should have the freedom to live their lives the way they want.
In his artwork ‘Musical Mood’, artistRadheshyam Mulmi illustrates the rich traditional music of Nepal, bringing together colorful figurative and non-figurative elements. We can see the image of an old-fashioned house in a beautiful village surrounded by hills and mountains. Lord Krishna is in a very good mood playing his flute. Depicting how the modern world is still preserving ancient traditions and culture, his painting has young people playing different musical instruments like Sarangi, Sitar, Tabala, Madal, Narsinga and Harmoniumwhile one person is enjoying the music and applauding. The artist has illustrated sceneries of a religious musical event (Jatra)which is popular all over Nepal. Looking at the smiling faces, we can well understand how the music has lightened the moods of all the people, despite their diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Nature is rich in colors. Observe carefully and you can get to see colors existing in nature in different forms and areas. Along with colorful flora and fauna, you can witness that several colors are reflected when sun rays fall on dewdrops or rays of light fall on a diamond. ArtistSharad Ranjit’s inspiration for abstract art comes from nature. In his oil painting‘Dancing Colors’, he has played with several shades and these colors look like they are in motion. His fusion of colors in motion existing together harmoniously in the painting reflect the fact that different forms of dance bring together people from different countries, ethnicity, and cultures. Despite their own unique identities, lifestyles, professions, and religions that help them thrive in the world, these people make up peaceful, joyous and happy societies.
Lord Bhairab, an incarnation of LordShiva, is popular for both the extremes; he can become immensely pleased with his devotees and grants them everything they wish for and he also gets aggressive really soon, with abilities to even destroy the world in an instant. Devotees visit Bhairabtemples and pray for their protection from evil and also to get their wishes and desires fulfilled. They offer alcohol, animal sacrifices, eggs, and other food items to the deity. Artist Ravindra Jyapoo in his resin artwork ‘Hatha Dyo’ embodies Lord Bhairab that people can visit only on the day of Indrajatra in Kathmandu. Looking at this piece, you can perceive either the pleased Bhairab, smiling with big bright peaceful eyes and giving blessings to everyone around, or the agitated Bhairab looking at you with a frown and aggressive eyes that are on fire.