Hearts of stone

Abha Eli Phoboo


At early dawn, Vijay Maharjan makes his way to a makeshift shed that has been converted into a studio. The mellow light of mornings lends tenderness to the chiselling of the sculptures that he works on. It has been seven years since he began moulding shapes from clay and stones. “That is the beauty of it,” he shares. “I like bringing them to life.”

His most recent work ‘The Couple’ is a masterpiece that emotes closeness and feeling. Modelled on his friends Sarina and Krishna, the sculpture is cast in marble. The subjects were sculpted individually and then juxtaposed together. “Creating emotions in stone sculptures is not an easy task,” says Maharjan, “but it has been done before by the master’s and I try to do the same.”

‘The Couple’ is special because they are live cast works. He began this after having worked on an extensive research on such works. The technicalities of sculpting are long and tedious but trying to build emotions into a sculpted countenance is even more difficult. Maharjan, who is still in his 20s shares that he likes to use the quietness of mornings for compositions. The evenings, he reserves for reading up on art and adding the key touches. To be a good sculpture, he states, one needs both skill and knowledge. But this is not enough. “A sculptor,” he states slowly, “needs vision. You need to see beauty in the roughest stone. Vision changes with age.”

Only recently did Maharjan finish his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts but he has shown tremendous potential for the arts from early on. He began learning the basics of sculpting from Rabindra Jyapu then joined Lalit Kala Fine Arts Campus for an academic degree. At college, he learnt the finer points of art and began to try his hand at the sudden scope that art presented to him academically. His inspirations have been Rembrandt and Laya and Thakur Mainali. His favourite has, however, always been Rodin’s ‘Thinker’. Another of Maharjan’s scultpures speak of his own ambitions and beliefs. This sculpture titled ‘Sound of Success’ is now being exhibited in France.