Wet n Wild Bardia
Risk Reduction and Preparedness in Nepal
are heard History is seen
Romio Shrestha’s “Celestial Gallery” invites the viewer into a world where dormant spiritual qualities are fully manifest.
The paintings in this vibrant, folio-sized book draw from the ancient wisdom of Buddhist and Hindu traditions which, for centuries, have expressed some of humankind’s deepest spiritual insights.
Although the paintings in the book derive from Buddhist iconography, they represent a school of contemporary Nepali art that could almost be called postmodern; they adopt the visual components of an ancient iconographical tradition and present them in new contexts unconstrained by religious and artistic conventions.
Mandalas and other forms of Buddhist art have always been used as supports for religious contemplation, redirecting the mind from the world of conventional appearances to celestial realms veiled from ordinary awareness.Through their rich colours, symmetry and proportions, Buddhist mandalas harness the discordant energies of mind and universe and reveal an underlying if unseen reality.Many of the paintings in “Celestial Gallery” are manadalas. The visionary realms they invoke are invitations into a world bounded only by the limits of our imagination.
As you gaze upon the paintings in this book, you can put behind you the concerns of everyday life and allow your gaze to move gently from the periphery to the centre of the mandala, the inner sanctum, and ultimately to the bindu, the point in the absolute centre that represents the infinite. Many of these paintings lead all who enter them to the celestial gallery of their deepest consciousness–a realm in which all things are fully present and contained in pure form.
Whether wrathful, ecstatic or blissfully serene, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas that inhabit this book of vision draw on traditional iconographical sources but ultimately transcend them.
These postmodern thangkas boldly express the spirit of a tradition growing beyond its conventional forms. The paintings originate in the creative spirit of contemporary Himalayan artists who draw from the past and enrich the present. Incongruent colours and compositions take on new meaning (or break free of meaning) in an exuberant world of meticulous detail.
This is the celestial gallery: paintings which introduce us to a world beyond that which we have seen or commonly imagine.
THESE PAINTINGS LEAD ALL WHO ENTER THEM TO THE CELESTIAL GALLERY OF THEIR DEEPEST CONSCIOUSNESS–A REALM IN WHICH ALL THINGS ARE FULLY PRESENT AND CONTAINED IN PURE FORM