Shakti: More than meets the eye

All these motifs; the power of the female form both divine to mortal are seen in the exhibition ‘Shakti’ by veteran Artist Kiran Manandhar. The exhibition began on October 2 at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babermahal. The theme he has chosen are sensuality, love, freedom, seduction, rural life and more where his artworks reflect the setting, culture, icons, and images of Nepal.

In one of the paintings, Manandhar has depicted the goddess Durga and her tiger. He has extensively used red and yellow hues — where these colours can be generally seen on idols of any god and goddess of Nepal, a way to worship the divine. Also the brush strokes of black and brown has been used to depict the goddess.

The form of goddess Durga is distinct but the use of brush strokes and texture creates an opaque layer over the figures. If you analyse the painting you will notice that it’s not only Durga he has depicted but the face of goddess Kumari and another females are also visible in the painting defining every female as the source of power. Most of his paintings possess an amazing quality of seeing more images as you look carefully and this is skilfully covered in the layers of colours or texture.

In another painting, a man and woman being intimate has become the centre figure. The artist has depicted mountains, hills, trees, and birds at the background as forms of shakti and Nepal in general. The bold strokes of black lines form the figures which are Manandhar’s distinctive style. He has used earthly hues like grey, brown, and black where minimal use of vibrant hues like red, yellow, green, and blue have created contrast letting the viewers focus on the human figures and their intention.

There is cohesive balance between the colours and the figures in all his abstract paintings. The simple looking brush strokes, figures, and colour combinations have the power to let the viewers be lost in his/her own imagination for a long time. Also the paintings have the capacity to reveal beyond what is seen in that instant.

The exhibition continues till November 10.