Art meets craft at Oshibana show

Rita Dhital


A great work of art is made of details. The art exhibition that took place at Park Gallery, Lazimpat, on January 19 was proof of the fact. Young artist Pabitra Shrestha, who has received his training in Japan, the land of the Oshibana artform, presented his second display on the craft in the land: the first being at another exhibition four years ago in 2001 on the occasion of the golden jubilee ceremony of Ananda Kuti Vidyapeeth, Swayambhu from where he did his graduation. Oshibana is the Japanese technique of pressing flowers.

Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Mr Tsutomu Hiraoka inaugurated the function. The Ambassadors of Israel, France and Finland were also present on the occasion. Recalling earlier days, Shrestha articulated that since his family business was that of a nursery, he was always inspired by nature and began pressing flowers as a hobby. But after he became a member of International Pressed Flower Society, Japan, he decided to make it a career. He even wants to start a school for training others in the same field in the near future.

In all, there were 23 works of art exhibited. They were divided into two categories: pieces created before and after he visited Japan. He wanted “the viewers to compare and see the difference training and the technology makes”. The ones he did in Japan incorporated colourful paper and aluminium foil to protect the original colours of flowers. He also used cotton, small branches of plants and tree barks and, of course, wild plants and flowers in his works. There were also key chains, fans and decorative pieces using pressed flowers inside them on display. Prices ranged from Rs 500 to Rs 15,000. Since Buddhism influences both the countries, the artist said the wanted to promote the culture and tourism of Nepal in Japan by depicting Tara, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, in his art. Speaking on the exhibition, organiser Neera Pradhan Joshi says that Park Gallery has always “wanted to promote new artists in different fields so as to bring variation in the artforms practised in Nepal”. This exhibition will continue till January 28.