The frog connection


All good things come in small sizes. Shrawan Kumar Maharjan’s ‘Follow The Frogs’ is just that. The tiny sculptures of frogs on display from April 22 at Tings Tea Lounge, Lazimpat easily amaze you. Fusing Hindu and Buddhist traditions, cultures and legends, he has created intriguing sculptures under 18 different titles, taking you to a journey of his frog’s land.

Maharjan’s frogs are unique and interesting — they have the head and feet of frogs, but have human body. The physical features of humans and frogs seem to be blended in his works.

From three-inch ‘Baby Frogs’ to 11-inch ‘It’s Raining’, Maharjan’s works are of diverse nature.

For instance, a 9.5-inch tall ‘Playing Instrument’ has a figure (man or frog) playing a flute-like instrument — it reminds you of the musicians playing flute in jatras of Newari culture.

Innocence of childhood is evident in ‘Wheel Players’ and you are at once drawn to your childhood seeing this 7.5 inch tall sculpture. It shows a child playing with wheel.

This is his first exhibition, yet the artist, while doing Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (BFA) at Banaras Hindu University in India, also used frogs to create artworks for semester assignments.

Why is he so obsessed with frogs? “It has Kathmandu connection,” says Maharjan who was born and brought up in Capital.

“It is believed that Kathmandu Valley once was a kuwa (pond) and the frog was the king of that pond,” he adds.

Another belief — it rains when frogs croak — also inspired the artist to choose frogs as his motif.

Among all his works, the artist likes his ‘Basket Carriers’ — a figure with head of frog but human body carrying a kharpan (basket carrier). “It reminds me of my childhood days when I used to see such people in Kathmandu.”

‘Playing kite in festivals’ has been inspired by the artist’s experience of flying kites in different festival when he was a child.

This is Maharjan’s first solo sculpture exhibition. All the sculptures have been made from brass. Being inspired by his elder brother, artist Jujukaji Maharjan, along with unique styles of sculptures of Kathmandu, he jumped into this field. Next time, he plans to blow off your mind with bowl shaped sculptures of wax with metal casting.

The exhibition is on till May 22.