Himalayan Art Festival showcases traditional alongside contemporary art

- Saurav R Pandey, Kathmandu

Sep 14, 2018-

Looking at a painting of Sukhipur Village in Siraha, I felt as if I was experiencing tranquility.

The painting comprised of a setting sun, typical village huts and the locals washing their dishes outside their homes. The painting, which measured 51 x 76 cm in size, was an acrylic on canvas. I felt as if the artist, Rajan Panta, was attempting to draw a correlation between village and city life, where the former lacks pollution, noise and the everyday hustle and bustle of the latter. For those of us who go through busy city lives every day and are always surrounded by buildings and houses, living such a life would indeed be serene.

This piece is among a plethora of art that is on display at the Himalayan Art Festival, currently being held at the Nepal Art Council in Babar Mahal. Organised by E-Arts Nepal, an expanding online art gallery, the festival is in its second year and is featuring artwork from a range of disciplines, artists and regions.

“This year, we are displaying paintings, paubha, sculpture, ceramics, photographs, print, carvings and performance art, trying to cover different aspects of Nepali traditional and contemporary art,” said Erina Tamrakar, a festival coordinator.

The village of Siraha, the dense woods of Nepal, pottery work, gods and deities, are among the eclectic themes present in the artwork. Works from around 135 young Nepali artists are on display, in an attempt to promote talented artists and their art.

“It seems as if the public is also interested in this exhibition,” said Asha Dangol, primary coordinator of the festival. “On the first day alone, we had five hundred odd visitors. Yesterday, around 250 people came. We expect this number to grow as we approach the final days.”

The festival also features art programmes for children and art talks. One such talk on Thursday, between Madan Chitrakar, who is principal of the Sirjana College of Fine Art, paubha artists Mukti Singh Thapa and Uday Charan Shrestha, and visual artist Sujan Chitrakar discussed contemporary art in relation to the traditional paubha. The talk was moderated by Swosti Kayastha Rajbhandari, curator at the Nepal Art Council.

“On Friday, we have an art performance by six artists and on the final day, we will have an art show for around 40 kids where we will speak to them about art and their favourite pieces from the festival,” said Dangol.

The majority of the art work is also on sale, with prices ranging from Rs 15,000-Rs 350,000. The Himalayan Art Festival runs from 11 am to 7 pm until September 15. Entrance is free.

Published: 14-09-2018 08:47

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