HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Everyone has a fantasy and so does Sujan Chitrakar. He fantasies about the day when art is going to be integrated into the life of each and every individual, the day when a random conversation between people will include the topic of art. Here art encompasses every form of art be it music, acting, et cetera. And Chitrakar has already taken his first step towards making this fantasy a reality with his ‘collaborative solo’ exhibition — Let’s talk about art baby.
A grand opening of the exhibition was held at the Baber Mahal Revisited courtyard on December 17, while the exhibition is at the Siddhartha Art Gallery. The event had special guests like actress Manisha Koirala, Nirakar Yakhtumba, Sanjay Shrestha and Manoj KC from 1974 AD.
“Art is an individual expression — this is the general perception but Sujan goes beyond that. He says art is a collective effort,” art critic Madan Chitrakar pointed out about the artist.
Chitrakar, who has been dwelling on this idea for the last six years said, “Creative endeavour or art is something that brings about harmony among people. I truly believe that as humans, we all are in this world for art and art is a very big word and includes many forms. Thus we artists should make art in such a way that everyone can relate to it so that an interest develops among the public.”
Yakhtumba expressed similar sentiments saying, “Visual art and music are the same, it’s just that the expressions are done in different format. When we create music, we keep in mind that lets not make it too complicated that it couldn’t be understood by our listeners for we need to reach out to people.”
And that is exactly this collection has common public sites and people of Kathmandu along with creations of artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Shashi Shah and Gustav Klimt, among others. The scene outside the Durbar High School with two women about to embark a taxi has a white speech bubble with “Wow! You bought a Manuj Babu?” written on it. Another painting of busy Ason market has men in a corner where yellow speech bubble shows one of them saying that he has to buy paints.
Besides these direct approaches Chitrakar has also given subtle hints of possibilities of presence of art in our day-to -day life by replacing the hoarding boards with art pieces in different parts of Kathmandu city. However, the huge hoarding board in his panoramic view of the road outside Singha Durbar instead has the image itself. While the image is done in black, white and grey, the hoarding board’s image is colourful. “I tried to include the painting of Jackson Pollock in this but I felt like people out here won’t relate to his abstract pieces and thus it would be totally opposite of the message I am trying to give,” he explained.
He has also used photographs in like the one of Min Bajrachaya during the 1990 movement where Durga Pokhrel with her both hand raised high is shouting for democracy. Here Chitrakar has painted “Kalatantra Jindabad” for Chitrakar terms these creations of his as ARTivities. And the use of all these creations of others is the reason he terms this effort of his “a collective solo” and has given credit to all these people.
“The name has been taken from Let’s talk about Sex by Salt n Pepa because the effect this song had in bringing the issue of HIV/AIDS into the mainstream discussion is very impressive so why can’t we it with art,” Chitrakar opined.
The opening event also included poem recitation.
The exhibition is on till January 27.