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Tickling the funny bone

  Cartoonists poke fun at society at large and raise a chuckle at the ongoing exhibition Jhataro


KATHMANDU: Maha nayak (Superstar) of the Nepali film industry Rajesh Hamal is wearing white underwear and red socks and is about to punch the leaders of the four major political parties of Nepal — Sushil Koirala, Prachanda, Jhalanath Khanal and Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, who are standing in a row in hanuman kattu (boxer shorts). In his heroic filmy tone, he asks them to fulfil their responsibilities, or else he threatens to humiliate them as they are just covered in hanuman kattus. This is a cartoon portrayed by Babusaila in the exhibition ‘Jhataro: An Exhibition of Cartoons’ that began on August 18 at the Siddhartha Art Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited. Along with this piece, the

exhibition features around 40 cartoonists’ work making the exhibition a melting pot of the first generation to the current cartoonists of Nepal.

Gobardhan Bikram Shah, Nepal’s first cartoonist, inaugurated the exhibition where he shared, “In 1957, I started making illustrations for Sanghyuta Prayash, a weekly newspaper. At that time I created cartoons following the editor’s instructions. I am happy that I could be a part of this exhibition and see that our cartoonists are of international standard.”

About the importance of cartoons, Sangeeta Thapa, Director of the gallery shared, “Cartoons make you laugh and Nepalis have a culture of laughing at themselves where their sense of humour helps them stay away from depression.”

At the exhibition, almost every visitor had a smile on their face looking at the cartoons. Most of the cartoons focused on political issues questioning the authority about the current situation, while some of them chose

social issues.

In artist GD Saroo’s ‘Cultural Propagation’, there is a long queue of ladies wearing green sari and bangles, waiting for their turn to put mehndi from a man. At the end of the queue, a lady in red sari carrying a doko misinterprets the queue for

voting and cannot fathom because the election is in November. Another lady from the line clears her misunderstanding saying that she should watch Indian soaps to understand the queue. Saroo satirises the influence of Indian soaps among women and the election as an never ending issue.

One of the visitors Akash Buddhamagar opined, “Cartoons can make you laugh and they can make you think about the

issues that are raised by the artists. Through such exhibition I am able to look at the collection

of cartoons in one venue that

are otherwise limited to newspapers only.”

Artists have created colourful cartoons and also black-and-white cartoons where artist Shashi Bikram Shah in his black-and-white work titled ‘Development’ satirises development. Using the motif of child (figurative representation of development), it is evolving and finally evolves into a monster.

If you like to read witty lines and have a good laugh, visit the exhibition that continues till September 17 which is part of Kalajatra initiated by Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Center.

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