Meena Kayastha at Siddhartha Art Gallery: Upscaling debris into art

Meena Kayastha at Siddhartha Art Gallery: Upscaling debris into art

Artist Meena Kayastha (1983) lives and works in Kathmandu. She is considered a “chronicler of the woes of industrialization”. She is known to transform recycled and discarded objects into works of art through her astute and creative ideas. She sometimes even combines musical instruments with junkyard scrap to bring out the emotive quality of human figures. A recent entrant into the art scene, Kayastha’s work has been described as ‘boldly dada-esque’.
She is a graduate of the Department of Arts and Design, Kathmandu University, Nepal. The show at Siddhartha Gallery is her second major solo exhibition there and will continue through January 11th, 2017.


See a short video of her work before the repost of a KATHMANDU POST article on the recent opening of the exhibition below.


On Nov 29, 2016 Sakchham Karki writes in the KATHMANDU POST:

A solo art exhibition, titled “Divine Debris” which features work by Meena Kayastha is currently on display at Siddhartha Art Gallery in Babarmahal in the capital. The exhibit that features 19 of artist Kayastha’s paintings, where the rubble from last year’s quakes serves as canvases, was inaugurated by Dr Arzu Rana Deuba.

Most of the paintings feature Hindu gods and goddesses as subjects, highlighted by a series of Navadurgas painted on traditional wooden doors.

Speaking to the Kathmandu Post, artist Kayastha said, “After the April 25 earthquake, Bhaktapur was utterly devastated, particularly its wooden artifacts for which the city is famous for. I wanted to turn this debris into art.”

Besides using traditional wooden doors as a base, the artist has also made use of shovels, lawn mowers and bicycles and morphed them into goddesses like Vaisnavi, Kumari, Bhrahmayani, Barahi, Indrayani and gods such as Swet Bhairav, Ganesha, and Yamaraj, among others.


Speaking on why she chose the Navadurga series as the focal point for the exhibit, Meena Kayastha said, “I chose Navadurga because they are the protectors of Bhaktapur city and I chose the doors for the base because they also symbolize protection that shields one from the external threats.” She added, “Further, I aim to point out the hypocrisy in our society where real women are treated as second class citizens, whereas goddesses are worshipped in almost every corner of the country.”

The artworks that took two years to complete have been priced at NRs 200,000 each.




More about a 2010 show of the artist:

More background on the artist: