Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu

The Bungadeo Jatra that happens once every 12 years revives the mystical aspect of Lalitpur, the legends and beliefs surrounding it. Sharada Chitrakar, daughter of the famed painter Tej Bahadur Chitrakar, shares that ever since her early days, this Jatra fascinated her. Drawing from the impressions left on her as she followed the Jatra that took place in 2003, Chitrakar transfers it onto canvas in brilliant deft delicate strokes.

A solo exhibition of her paintings ‘Bungadeo Jatra’ was inaugurated by Satya Mohan Joshi, life member of the Royal Nepal Academy, at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited. Joshi, in his inaugural speech, explained the story and philosophy behind the Jatra. "Bungadeo is named after the Bungamati from where the Jatra begins. The worship of Bungadeo gave the people a cultural life and songs dedicated to the deity added to the language also. There was spiritual culture and religious tolerance. Kings and people dressed up to attend the festivities," said Joshi. "Sharada Chitrakar is one of the accomplished female artists of Nepal." He observed that the paintings showed slight Chinese influences.

Indeed, Chitrakar’s paintings have a delicacy that is apparent but in her fine lines and brushstrokes, she has a definitiveness that is bold and defying. "These are impressionistic works based on realism," explained Chitrakar. "Some are on-the-spot works that I roughly sketched while watching the Jatra. Definitely, my works are influenced by my father but I believe that I have found my style."

In comparison to her previous works, Chitrakar’s new collection has gathered a finer mastery of hand and skilful use of colours. Her compositions, though simple because of its realistic base have an eclectic range to their impressionistic side. She has on each canvas created elements that capture certain aspects of life during the Bungadeo Jatra. She maps the preparation for the festive season and follows it through until it reaches its final destiny.

Painting landscapes as the chariot is pulled through the city, the people participating in the festival or simply observing the architectural details, Sharada lays before you the entire spirit of the Jatra. Her colours are select and she sometimes chooses to be a minimalist, giving the essence so one relates to the feeling and emotive content of the festival.

The exhibition continues till February 15.