KATHMANDU: Voices have risen in the reason of many causes. Voices have reached the ears of the multitude but they have turned a deaf ear. ‘Art against Caste Discrimination’, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by many artists is on at Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal.

The exhibition attacks the label that people have been tagged with in the name of caste. The passionate revelations through these artworks are strong. Well-known artists like Laya Mainali, Sudarshan Bikram Rana and Sunita Rana have exhibited their works alongside amateur expressions. All of these bear the same theme.

The issue of segregation between dalits and the so-called higher castes have resulted in the stalling of progress of the nation. One painting cries out, “You take our work and give us no credit.” Some of the sculptures have exceptional compositions with concepts that are profoundly meaningful and artistic at the same time.

The exhibition continues till March 25.

KATHMANDU: The retrospective exhibition of eminent artist and academician Uttam Nepali ‘Celebrating 46 years of Creativity’ is on Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal. Organised by the Siddhartha Art Gallery on the occasion of the 54th birthday of Queen Komal, it maps the progress of Uttam Nepali as a painter.

“I have been painting for 54 years now,” says the 67-year-old artist. Born as Gopal Karmacharya, Uttam Nepali was just out of school, when he joined art school. Nepali even toyed with the idea of becoming an actor.

“Looking at paintings had always given me a certain sense of satisfaction and I always wondered how much more it must give to the creator,” says Nepali. He joined College of Arts and Crafts in Lucknow. At the exhibition, rough sketches of portraiture that he made in that period are on display. They show a precise hand; Nepali’s lines of definition grew stronger. ‘The Couple’ marks his deviation from the conventions of portraiture.

The many paintings that hang on the gallery canvass an artist in summary but beyond the colours live the process of his maturity. From the traditional painting styles, Nepali moves to experimental works and abstractions. Nepali moves by feeling, as in the negatives of a photo.

Nepali is also a poet and a musician. Though it has been long since he held a violin, it never fails to be the backdrop of his creations. The retrospective also includes a landmark in artwork that Nepali made not too long ago. He painted eminent writer and poets of Nepal.

At the inauguration where prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa was chief guest, a book of poems entitled ‘Uttam Nepali ka Kabita Haru’ was also launched. “To me, poetry, painting and music are three facets of one being,” shares Nepali, pointing to his painting ‘Expression 1’, where three faces merge to become one. “In all, you need to think and imagine, only the output uses different mediums.”Nepali was also the first Nepali villain in Kollywood and the first to open a private modern art gallery. The gallery, which he began in collaboration with Max Matthew, a black American schoolteacher, was called Prithvi Art Gallery. In time, they were compelled to shut it down.

When Nepali decided to become an artist, his family disapproved except for his mother. As the years flew by, he began to develop as an individual, an artist, often expanding into the spiritual arena to retain the artist’s feelings. Over 160 paintings hang in the gallery, a vast collection that attempts to traverse the life of a complex individual who believes in facets. To honour this personality, Siddhartha Art Gallery conferred upon him their very first award. The show is on till today. — HNS