2-8 October 2015 #778

History on canvas

If you have time to see very few art exhibitions in Kathmandu this week then this selection of paintings by Hari Prasad Sharma should be it
Nischhal Pradhan

If you have time to see very few art exhibitions in Kathmandu this week and you adore the traditional art forms of Nepal, then this selection of 70 paintings by artist Hari Prasad Sharma (pic) should be it.

Sharma is self-taught and was an apprentice with Chandra Man Maskey and Kalidas Shrestha. Now 78, his interest in depicting Nepali history, religion and culture on canvas has left an indelible mark on the country’s art scene. 

“The most appealing aspect about this exhibition is the artist’s commitment and hard work in bringing historical events of Nepali history into life size paintings with great detail and precision,” says Salim Shakya, a businessman with an interest in Newari art. 

The exhibition visualises events from Nepal’s past like the wedding ceremony of Bhrikuti to the Tibetan king Srong Tsen Gampo. The ceremony is carefully detailed, the temples are accurately rendered and even the contours of the hills surrounding Kathmandu correspond to reality.

The paintings may not be historically accurate but recreating such events on canvas takes a lot of effort and imagination which Sharma displays in abundance. 

Part of the excitement is seeing historical moments and events alongside the lifestyle of pre-modern Kathmandu Valley. Although not a Newar himself, Sharma has studied the culture intimately and this influence is reflected in the strokes of creative genius on his canvases. He gives us a rare glimpse of ancient Kathmandu Valley captured in almost photographic detail. 

Hari Prasad Sharma

Kathmandu Valley Down the Ages: Reviving Glorious Culture & Architecture

Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal, Kathmandu

Until 7 October

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