This was an evening that has been 40 years in the making — since the day Laxman Shrestha left Nepal to chase his dreams. March 15 marked the day that Nepali art lovers were captivated by Shrestha’s master strokes. An exhibition of his creations is being held at the Siddhartha Art Gallery.
While speaking at the inauguration, he expressed that his “journey of creative art has helped him cross the abyss and find the light”. He said, “I felt like I did not fit into any society, and thus embarked on a journey to find answers to the restless questions within.”
His exhibition on ‘Life through Himalayas’ includes digital prints of his black-and-white paintings. However, the treat was not only for the visitors, as the gallery had this surprise in store for the artist himself. His paintings in possession of private collectors in Nepal are also on display. Shrestha said it was “a pleasant surprise” to see his old paintings.
Artists, art lovers, socialites among others attended the celebration of a Nepali artist who has been successful in carving a niche for himself the world. Everybody wanted to get his autograph and a photograph with the famous artist whose visits to his native land are quite rare.
The flashes of cameras were frequent helping one know the artist’s whereabouts in the gallery. And one could find him at the centre of a group having a conversation. Shrestha and his wife were kept busy by his admirers. The gallery was so packed that there was hardly any standing room. The artist pulled as much a crowd as his does his creations.
For all the collectors in Nepal, it was a delightful opportunity and most of the digital prints were sold within half an hour of the opening. Artists like Ragini Upadhaya, Chandra Shrestha, Sujan Chitrakar, Leh Mainali and Shyam Lal Shrestha were captivated by the master painter’s creations.
Shrestha, who has been travelling the world over, has not however been out of touch with the Nepali art scenario. He has been collecting paintings by Nepali artists. According to Shrestha, Nepali artists need to travel to keep the burning desire for creativity alive. “They must see how the international artists are doing and should find out more about their styles. It is then that their creativity will prosper,” he said.
For a man who ventured on a journey to quench the restless questions and who “feels at home almost anywhere in the world”, life has come a full circle as he enthralled people from his native land with his aesthetic answers.
(The exhibition is on till March 22)