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Old forms, new meaning: Nepalese art exhibition

art and culture Updated: May 07, 2013 01:29 IST
Chetna Dua
Chetna Dua
Hindustan Times
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If you thought that Nepalese art was only about Tankas and Taras, an ongoing exhibition in the city gives you a closer look at experiments in contemporary art, taking place across the border.

Titled Chanting Icons, the exhibit showcases 35 artworks by five Nepalese artists bound together by the guru-shishya parampara. “It is the first time that we are bringing a group show of Nepalese artists to India.

I felt that Indians would be able to relate better to these artworks because of the similar culture than people from other parts of the world,” says art curator Rana Raja Gautam of Nepal.

The senior-most artist from the group, Shashi Bikram Shah, 80, has let his spirit free as he depicts a host of flying horses on canvas and Lokta (Nepalese rice paper) in his work. His disciple, Kiran Manandhar, on the other hand, has depicted the ongoing turmoil in society through a host of abstract forms in maroon, black and grey tones. The cityscapes painted with oil and acrylic on canvas by Uma Shankar Shah depict traditional Nepalese symbols like Stupa, pagoda houses and temples set across the mountains of Kathmandu Valley.

“Both Nepal and India have a very similar religious culture, but what’s unique about Nepal is the Newari religion of Hindu Buddhists, which is found nowhere else in the world,” says Gautam. This unique quality comes forth in the printworks of Seema Shankar Shah, who has etched an amalgamation of Buddhist and Hindu deities set against a backdrop of bright Nepalese landscapes. Bhairaj Maharjan, the last of the lineage shows his aspiration for peace and unity through paintings of Buddhist monks with inscriptions of Tibetan calligraphy.

Catch it live
Chanting Icons
When: May 7- 30
Where: Gallery One, 4105, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon