Painting the art of expression

Himalayan News Service


The moments in our life emerge as expressions, our face often speaks more than what we say. This, artist Reeta Manandhar has selected as the subject of her second solo exhibition. The Sri Lankan ambassador to Nepal Grace Ammal Asirwatham inaugurated the exhibition ‘Expressions’ on May 7 at Park Gallery, Lazimpat. “Art and culture is a part and parcel of our culture and history,” stated Asirwatham. “Of the 22 paintings on exhibit, only one is about peace and two of happiness. All others are expressions of distress, agony and anger. This is the contemporary situation. This is the message carried to the world at large. We are stimulated when we see the paintings.”

Manandhar’s works are focused on the facial expression and they canvass a series of emotion ranging from shy delight to rage. The colours she uses pertain directly to the emotions such as red for anger and green for envy. The images are strong and the flow is static. The feel has been well captured with the underlying understanding of human situation.

The artist says she went through an emotional process herself to be able to portray the expressions to her satisfaction. Over the two years that she worked on the series, she grew adept at watching people’s faces and memorising it. “At first, with the help of a mirror, I drew self portraits, exploring my own expressions,” shares Manandhar. “Later, I began drawing them with indefinite faces. I painted the emotions that we, as human beings, feel in our daily life and show through facial expressions.” Manandhar referred to the Navaras, the nine different human emotions. In mid-May, Reeta Manandhar will be representing Nepal as a residential artist in Fukuoka, Japan for the Asian Art Programme. The exhibition ends on May 10.