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Doing what makes them happy: Performance Art
Artists are expressive beings who have the capacity to transform their thoughts into something physical and convey their message through the means of art. Performance art is one such art form featuring a live presentation to an audience that might embody any one or all art forms such as acting, poetry, music, dance and painting.
Performance art is short lived thus often recorded on video and still photography. And there are just a handful of Nepali female artists who express themselves through performance art. Among them are Saurganga Darsandhari, Muna Bhadel and Pramila Lama who are active in this form of art and have recently showcased their performance art at Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal.
For them performance art is their way to communicate what they are thinking about and then translating their thoughts into visual acts.
Using husked paddy rice
Saurganga and Muna used husked paddy rice as their major motif to show the socio-economic condition of today’s society while Saurganga focused on youngsters leaving their motherland for sustaining their life in Nepal. Muna’s interactive performance art, dealt with the rapid urbanization and the effect on the urbanization in conversion of productive lands into concrete jungle.
Saurganga also has her hold in print making and she is a new mother. And through her performance too it is quite visible as she symbolically used a prop as a new born baby in her performance. Art for her is her diary and it seems true in her performance as well. She is also a lecturer and is the co-founder of Bindu, space for artists. Through Bindu, they have been promoting performance art since 2006.
She said according to the demand of time performances are changed and added, “Performance art gives you freedom in terms of composition and space. And since 2008 I started doing my solo performance art.”
Meanwhile, Muna who is also the recipient of ‘Sita Shree Pant Smriti Award’ in 2016 is a freelance visual artist and teaches art as well. In her paintings she explores old age and death. She has completed her MFA from the Central Department of Fine Art in Tribhuvan University.
Performance out of love
Pramila focused on her inner pain, pain of losing someone so close to her, her father. She used animal’s heart and her father’s watch as her props. She wore a black dress inside-out and placed the heart inside a white cloth while giving a performance.
Performance art is also meant to provoke some emotions on the onlookers and all three of them succeeded to do so. When asked what performance art is for Pramila, she replied, “Your body is your canvas when you are doing performance art. I feel easy to express myself through performance art. And art can be for the artists themselves or for the viewers. And today I did it for myself, remembering my father who died recently.”
Since 2014, she began to work in performance art. Her performance art too focuses on social issues and she said, “I enjoy what I do and it gives me happiness.”