In the world of Nepalese contemporary art there are few as famous and respected as the duo of Asha Dangol and Erina Tamrakar. Both were born at Mangalbazaar in Lalitpur nearby a family of traditional artists. While Dangol’s work conveys various themes with a strong social and environmental message combining facets of both modern art and traditional motifs making the viewer ponder on these issues, Tamrakar’s portrait work conveys themes of femininity, motherhood, suffering and peace which touches one’s emotional core.
Both Erina and Asha have completed their Masters in Fine Arts from Tribhuvan University and are co-founders of E-Art and Kashthamandap Art Group. The duo are now married and are working together to bring Nepalese contemporary art into the limelight and have conducted various solo exhibitions as well as through their established group.
Dangol’s art works begin with a concept, a message in mind. The current happenings and personal experiences drive Asha to create artwork that give meaning to the various issues at play in modern society. One sees themes of environmentalism, animal rights, pollution, labour migration and globalization among others in his work, forcing the viewer to think on these issues themselves and drive change. Inspiring change in one’s outlook and behavior through art is a theme in Dangol’s artwork that has inspired many discussions and movements within Nepal. Awarded with the prestigious Araniko Youth Award in 2003, Asha has done 14 solo exhibitions and his works have been collected by various collectors worldwide as well as within the country.
Tamrakar on the other hand, draws on her strong sense of empathy and emotional connection to her subjects. Motherhood and the sacrifices that come along with it, the societal norm where a girl has to be separated from the family and the lifelong oppression of being thought of as “lesser” showcase a layer of emotion rarely seen in Nepalese Contemporary artwork. The everyday difficulties faced by women including Tamrakar herself, add a deep layer of meaning to her works. Her recent works also draw an emotional connection between humans and nature, also drawn from her personal experience. Tamrakar has held 19 solo exhibitions and has been awarded with the Gold Medal from the Araniko Sewa Yuwa Kosh. Her works have been collected extensively worldwide.
The contemporary duo thus in their own unique way, find a way to stimulate the mind as well as the heart and thus make the viewer resonate with their messages. Logos, Ethos and Pathos all find their place within their works.