Shaped Chess Pieces in the Images of Men

Jan 18, 2018 |

Text: Soyana Nyachhon              Photo : Pradip Tuladhar

“Shaped chess pieces in the images of men. Even Today “I”, “men” have become chess pieces enduring wars.” “Kalapremi” as he chose to be known as for his immaculate passion for art, Gopal Das Shrestha was born and raised in Kathmandu. He completed his bachelor’s degree in fine art at Lalit Kala campus. He has been devoting his visionary artistry since the age of 17.

Kalapremi is not only a sculptor but also a poet. He presents his poems together with sculptures. He believes that creative and critical process go hand in hand. As a poet, he knows the importance of rhythm and music in poem and finds it equally useful in other genres of art as well. “Sometimes the viewers may find it difficult to understand the whole concept which is why I present my poem as the spoken words are easily understood by the viewers” says Kalapremi.

He connects spiritual power in nature with his daring ceramic art pieces. From his early exhibition “Peace from Love” to the recent work “Nari Satranj”. He takes the images from nature as the subject of matters and presents it into aesthetic and unrefined forms. As a lover of art, he has been contributing his knowledge to the young generation since 1984 as a fine art teacher and in the field of writing books and articles related to sculpture techniques and clay art. He says that transferring new techniques is important as the new generations crave more creativenesses. Kalapremi invests his time in providing a platform to encourage the youth in the scene of sculptures.

His work has always tried to portray the real world into the pieces of ceramic as the ceramics are molded into the subject matter with passion and devotion. He has found way of expressing his fascination with the natural forms and imagery and a love of texture and color. Driven by creative process the patterns and forms display challenges between gravity and forms further allowing the complex relationship between the ceramic pieces and the viewers.

Besides working on his own projects, he also has worked in collaboration with many other ceramic works such as “Nepal our Spiritual Home”, “Heart beat “, Metamorsis”. One of the most talked about solo project “Kumudini” series raved a lot of reviews. Unlike more abstract works of new upcoming sculptors, his creations are easily recognized for intimate soulfulness.

His ongoing “Nari Satranj” is a satire to the world who has exploited the word Feminism. He believes that women are powerful enough to conquer the world with their own strength and knowledge. The word feminism has become a statement of advertisement all around the world in today’s context talking only about the gender equality but ignoring it’s being exploited in many different ways, some are known to the world and some are still locked up in the back of the closet.

By dedicating his project to the women who are climbing up the stairs of recognition with their own will power, Kalapremi has created all the characters of chess also known as buddhichal in Nepali for the exhibit. “Chess is a political and social game, and I aspire to bring out the present context of Nepal through my creations. As we don’t have many women participating in politics as well as in security agencies, I decided to use all female characters to show that women can contribute equally in these fields”, says Kalapremi.

Nari Satranj featured 53 pieces of chess characters that are all devoted to the powerful women of the society. The 32 pieces are arranged in the chess board, whereas other 18 pieces are placed outside the chess board waiting patiently. Except his own ceramic work, his recent collaboration workshop Initiation II is also currently ongoing on the same premises..

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