“Tradition Subverted“, an exhibition which features the works of artists Asha Dangol and Erina Tamrakar was kicked off on in mid October 2017 at Yala Mandala in Patan and will go on for two months.

The presented works aim to engage the audience in a provocative dialogue on feminism, introspective silence, migration, urban decay, and consumerism.

In an article in the Kathmandu Post, the writer muses: “Paradise Lost” is one of Asha’s paintings at the exhibition. It explores the consequences of unplanned development in the country. Nature has bestowed plenty of gifts upon Kathmandu, but the Valley has been thoroughly corrupted by human activities. Have we wrongly defined what development is and what it means to prosper? Asha Dangol hopes that his canvas paintings will raise these important questions as the nation continues its discussion on ill-planned urbanisation.

While Dangol uses canvas as his medium for expression, Tamrakar’s paintings are literally “set in stone.” Tamrakar, who until 2006 used oil on canvas as her primary medium, said that she is fascinated by naturally occurring stones. Most of the stones she used were collected on a hiking trip.

Both Dangol and Tamrakar have worked on their collection for about two years.

The late and very much missed Dina Bangdel explained about Asha’s and Erina’s art in an article in the American Himalayan Journal and elquently states the following there:

“It would be easy to read the preeminent themes of Erina Tamrakar’s paintings as statements of self, identity, and gender. These works are conscious or unconscious explorations of her personal journeys and experiences. Tamrakar’s Third Eye series is rooted in the femininity of the subjects, expressed through deep reds. The recurrence of symbols creates a distinct opposition: the introspection of the silent, downward-cast eyes provides a point of contrast with the dominant gaze of the third eye, open and red. Similarly, the imagery of mirroring and reflection in her Couple series speaks to the psyche of the artist.

Asha Dangol’s current figurative explorations engage the viewer in a provocative dialogue about urbanization, consumerism, and ecological concerns. These contemporary issues are framed within a polarity and dichotomy of visual symbols: east and west; traditional and contemporary; past and present; the mythic and the real. The imagery is seductive in its cultural appropriations. The meanings become even more acute when the audience reads the cultural signifiers and their substitutions: the Tantric Buddhist deity Vajrabhairava is recontextualized in an environment of urban decay; the artist’s persona, recast as Hevajra, subverts the viewer’s expectations, conjoining the spiritual with a sense of consumerism and loss. His recent series, including pieces like Where am I? and Paradise Lost, provide a personal cultural commentary about globalization through richly coded visual narratives.”

Please enjoy some impressions from the lovely and fun opening evening at the fine premises of Yala Mandala in Patan:

 

Credits: All photography copyright Asha Dangol / Erina Tamrakar