Nepal | May 28, 2020

Carving the quake experience

Himalayan News Service
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Bhuwan Thapa' Self Realization

Photo: Bal Krishna Chhetri/ THT

KATHMANDU: It is not a regular sight to see at a sculpture exhibition. Beautifully shaped wooden pieces are seen hanging on ropes. From abstract shapes to shape of apple, bricks, foot, cheese and more — they are the reflections on the earthquake of April 25, 2015, and its aftermaths, as perceived by sculptor Bhuwan Thapa ‘Bahuvi’.

The sculpture exhibition ‘Self-realization’ at Nepal Art Council, Babermahal tells his experiences of the quake through 56 pieces of wooden sculptures — each piece weighing 15 kilograms.

Bahuvi’s had fractured his right leg due to the sudden burst of oxygen cylinder while working at an art workshop.

He was able to “stand after three days of my accident as doctors kept iron rods inside my leg”. His life became normal again with time, like the impact of earthquake passed away.

He came up with the idea of creating sculptures after the earthquake when “my mind became vacant for few days. Then I thought about my past, present and future”. Picking up wooden pieces that were deserted during the tremors, he worked on his experiences, thoughts, imagery and emotions during the earthquake period. Then came the shapes of bricks, foot prints and plates tectonics among others out of wood as well the dimensions of his feelings like hope to pent-up emotions.

Sculptor Bahuvi, who is associated with Kathmandu University Centre for Art and Design since the past 11 years, has creatively carved his earthquake experiences in his sculptures.

One of them is ‘Plates Tectonics’ — made with several rectangular pieces of woods joined together by small chains or stitched by wires.

“Earthquake occurs due to the movement of plates inside the earth. And I got into thinking that what if those plates could be joined in a similar way like my fractured bones? We wouldn’t have to experience earthquake anymore.”

The exhibition that began on April 3 continues till April 6.

A version of this article appears in print on April 06, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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