Wet n Wild Bardia
Risk Reduction and Preparedness in Nepal
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E - Arts Nepal, an online art gallery established with the aim to promote contemporary Nepali arts, organized Himalayan Art Festival from 7th to 11th September 2017. Contemporary artworks, prints, sculptures,installation and photographs were displayed at Nepal Art Council in the capital. The exhibition was organized to celebrate the sixth anniversary of EArts Nepal. “GharGhar ma kala” was the main purpose of the fest which targeted local individuals and Nepali co-operate houses to invest in local artist. The festival was also conducted to respect senior artists as well as to encourage new upcoming artists.
Contemporary Nepali arts share mystical, magical, symbolic and anthropomorphic features from early religious paintings and sculptures. Furthermore, they share theconcepts of religious harmony, and reconciliation of individual self and cosmic being, sacred and profane from early art forms. The paintings on display ranged from the cozy and nostalgic such as Ranjan Pant’s Terai landscape to Pramila Bajracharya’s painting where she portraits her loneliness and sense of loss. The painting by Erina Tamrakar focused on women and their relationship which convey a strong commentary on society and surrounding. Another artist, Ragini Upadhyay whose paintings were intertexual for she takes from fables and oriental myths renders religious tolerance and the space for woman in Nepali society.
The first piece that caught my eye as I entered the hall was the painting Culture II from Madan Chitrakar’s collection “The Vanishing Heritage”, an artist who creates both abstract and figurative painting. His paintings create a sense of pride and makes viewers aware of the Nepali culture capturing the medieval sculptures and architectures of Kathmandu valley.
Touching upon a similar theme is artist Uma Shankar Shah, who incorporated the graphic work forms and contents of early Nepali religious and folk arts. In Shah's painting abstraction of nature in simplified form, dominated by the
recurrent images from the realms of philosophy, mythology can be found. A painting named Concentration by Sangee Shrestha which reminded me of cable phone recharger. She had me used geometric shapes - particularly rectangles, squares and polygons suggesting the depth and dimension. She attempts to dig out the human
hypocrisy and gives stress to the value of inner feeling like love, hate, joy and jealousy.
Dealing with the feminine theme, Bhairaj Maharjan also portrait the secret and intimate moments of women in a most lyrical way that touched the viewer's eye. He also executed wonderful landscape with the setting of primitive life to the changing modern civilization.
Asha Dangol, whose work combines tradition with the contemporary, myths with the touch of reality. His paintings are shocking and dreamy at the same time. One of his work with the image of deities, incorporating beast like bulls, may remind people of demon and his lover. He mixes human and nature with imaginary mythical worlds which creates nostalgic memories of carefree childhood.
Except from the paintings, the exhibition also showcased various contemporary pieces of sculptures which were abstract and unique. The pieces portrayed the struggle of human life and the flow of shapes in continuum creates a movement and rhythm.
According to the coordinator Asha Dangol, the festival was appreciated by many of the young as well as professional artist. People seemed to be pleased by various artworks as it revived many sentiments. He wishes to continue the annual festival once a year for the further promotion of Nepalese art and artists.
Many senior artists such as Uttam Nepali, Shashi Shah, Batsa Gopal Baidya, Shashi Kala Tiwari, Kiran Manandharand young contemporary artists such as Hitman Gurung, Meena Kayastha, Prithvi Shrestha, Sushma Shakya, Saurganga Darshandhari, Sheelasha Rajbhandari and others also displayed their works.