Having the renowned Chitrakar blood in him, Madan Chitrakar is showing his uncanny skills loud and clear with his latest exhibition The Unspoken, which opened on March 19 at the Siddhartha Art Gallery. The gallery was crowded with his fans and dignitaries for the exhibition, which was inaugurated by Bangladeshi Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmed.
As the title indicates, this collection represents images and thoughts about the current political and cultural activities in the country that Chitrakar couldn’t articulate in words. He said Nepal has experienced so much that words aren’t simply enough to express them.
“I believe art is the only way to express the uncertainties of Nepal,” said Chitrakar. “I just wanted to ventilate myself by painting.”
With the skills of a master, Chitrakar fuses neo-tantric and contemporary images to capture this transitional period without the gory details of bloodshed. He uses warm colours and metaphoric images to symbolise his thoughts. The meanings behind the paintings are hidden under the cheerful looking colours and images, but you have only to look to realise their cultural context.
To quote Sangeeta Thapa, curator/director of Siddhartha Art Gallery: “His paintings are almost narrative. No wonder he is recognised as a documentarian, historian and philosopher as well as a painter.”
Some of the paintings are deconstructed alphabets, symbolic of the deconstruction of Nepal.
Another painting shows pieces of Nepal’s flag flying away to narrate the struggle to create a new flag after Jana Andolan II.
One painting depicts a deserted rural area caused by the conflict.
Chitrakar dedicated his darkest painting of lit black candles, entitled In Memoriam to the suffering people.
“They are symbols of every civilisation in broken images,” said Chitrakar. “They are my feelings and my knowledge.”
The exhibition is on till April 3