Divinity in simplicity


While the multidisciplinary art performance ‘Divinity of the common life’ at Khula Manch showcased the depth of a common life, the exhibition of the same title celebrated the common people and their life. The exhibition, which opened on November 14, is being held at the Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal.

The exhibition includes the huge hoardings on which artist Karl Knapp had painted his vision of the power of common life, two installation art pieces by the same artist and photographs by Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati.

Kakshapati’s photographs have captured some candid moments during the preparation of the performance at Khula Manch. One can see behind-the-scene moments when everyone was busy getting ready for their performance, and rather than tensed everyone seems excited.

And her photographs of the performance itself are both mesmerising and powerful. The photos where she has captured silhouettes of the artists during the performance, the lights are seen like halos in a way symbolising the whole idea of the event — divinity in common life.

For Knapp, festive time in Nepal has been very inspirational and through his installations he wants to put forward that “god exists in common life — in us”.

The photographs included in the installations show people posing as gods. Knapp said he just simply asked people at Patan Durbar Square to pose like their god and they did so. The spontaneity is very much visible in all the photographs and the expressions on their faces show the simplicity of their personality as well as life. From policeman to street vendors, from an old lady to college students, Knapp has included various people in his photos.

About his ‘Nepal’ experience he said, “In Nepal people are very open and friendly. Plus they are also very healthy about religion which is rare in other countries.”

Recuperation of the fireworks at Khula Manch has also been included in the installations. He has also symbolised permanent and temporary through the objects used his creation. The flowers used will wither in a couple of days thus symbolising evolution.

An artist to the core Knapp pointed out the presence of art in the everyday life of Nepali people. “There is lot of art going around in the everyday life of Nepali people — be it while performing puja or on those mandalas created at home — without people even realising it.”

The exhibition is on till November 30.