In conversation with Ursula Manandhar – Source: Nepal Art Post
I was born in Makhan in the historical core of Kathmandu, and I often reminisce about the place. I used to play marbles with friends there. To keep these memories alive, I created a relief work with the temple of Tarini Devi and the locality I grew up in. It is a reminder of the authentic locality before any modernity crept in.
To meet my family’s expectations of pursuing a professional career, I enrolled as a science student in college, but dropped out after just a year. My elder brother came to know about my inclination towards art, and helped me join the Lalitkala Campus where I studied the fine arts.
Despite having an art degree, I had no choice but to work for the Election Commission for thirty years. While I served in the government job, I experimented with various mediums such as mud, clay, stone, wood, metal and mixed media, as well as installation art, to let out my creative side.
I have spent fifty years as an artist, and have seen many changes to his city, which was once home to traders and craftsmen, with houses set in beautiful gardens. Some of my paintings vividly portray scenes from the historic heart of the valley. Others are misty and abstract, with just a hint of reality. Yet others are reality, but given a more poetic and mystical quality.
In mixed media, I use various elements in one piece of art. In a painting as well we can use a combination of materials such as colors, metals, plasters, cloth, etc. It is a technique from western art culture. We see this being used in Nepal by other artists as well, but not up to the extent that I am doing currently.
The most distinct characteristic of my artwork is that I use different materials in a single piece. In relief works as well, many other artists use only one material; but in my work, I use plaster of paris, wood, etc. and give dimensions using the technique of repoussé.