Nepal has a rich history and culture that give Nepal her identity in the world. While reading the history of Nepal, there tends to pop up several questions. Among them there are some questions like; have you ever imagined about the moment king Jai Prakash Malla (last Malla king in Kathmandu) playing ‘pasa’ (dice game) with goddess Taleju Bhawani? Then, have you ever thought about the landmarks in Lumbini during the visit of Emperor Ashoka?
However, we won’t be able to put all these images together in a clear picture. Nevertheless, if you wish, you were able to see them in clear picture, then the ongoing exhibition ‘Nepal through the ages’ by 82-year-old, veteran artist Hari Prasad Sharma at Nepal Art Council, Babermahal is the place to visit.
In the exhibition, the paintings embodying the history of contemporary and medieval Nepal are on display. Hari Prasad has gathered the information for the paintings through Nepal’s oldest inscriptions that are found in the forms of shilapatra, tamrapatra along with Nepali folklores.
The paintings on display were created 25 years ago according to his son Bishnu Sharma. Altogether there are 45 paintings in the exhibition along with the historical description for each painting on its side.
Hari Prasad, a local from Lagan, Kathmandu, has not only reflected the history but also portrayed the society and culture in his paintings. All his paintings are created after the in-depth research assisted by his son Bishnu who is a professor of Economics.
After conquering Kathmandu Valley, Prithivi Naryan Shah adapted the valley’s culture by getting blessings from living goddess Kumari. The event has significance in terms of diplomacy and politics. Hari Prasad has transfigured the valley’s events of around two hundred years ago on the canvas such as people attending vibrant jatras and events; and the sight of bull-fighting among others.
Nowadays, we can witness that Kathmandu has turned into a concrete jungle. However, some of his paintings, in the exhibition, more or less give us the picture of the Valley during Hari Prasad’s younger days.
You must visit the Art Council to observe the old form of Kathmandu. We all know that Ranipokhari is waiting for the reconstruction after the earthquake, but he has transfigured the ancient Ranipokhari on his painting. Likewise, he has shown the sight of clean Bagmati River in his painting where people are returning their home carrying gagri (vintage water vessel). As we look at today’s polluted Bagmati, we couldn’t believe that Bagmati could once be that crystal clear.
Hari Prasad has also illustrated the romance between the Rana Prime Minister Junga Bahadur Rana and Lady Laura. And the incident of Rana Prime Minister Junga Bahadur’s extravagant spending of around half hundred thousand pounds on Lady Laura during his visit in Britain is still found in our history. The paintings in the exhibition give the experience of watching a historical drama with different episodes.
If you too want to get the glimpses of Nepal’s history, visit the exhibition that continues till September 26.