24 days ago
Sr. correspondent at Republica.
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Revealing unseen emotions through geometric shapes and harmonious hues
Rectangles, circles, squares and more form different patterns and figures in artist Sangee Shrestha’s paintings are displayed in Mcube Gallery, Chakupat, Patan. This is her second solo exhibition titled ‘Sambeg’, where she uses these geometrical shapes to give figurative forms and expresses her emotional journey during the time of pandemic and beyond.
The exhibition is spread on the ground and first floor of the gallery where the paintings in the exhibition let you get inside her feelings along with the feelings of those she closely observed.
She is known for using abstract forms and playing with contrasting colors that vividly show two opposing ideologies in terms of gender. However, the paintings in this exhibition are composed in such a way that not only the figures but also the colors used in them are harmoniously juxtaposed in her composition, similar to the Ardhnarishwar avatar of Lord Shiva and goddess Parbati, but in a cubic form. The paintings are aesthetically pleasing and one can certainly feel her emotions in them.
In a series of paintings with a set of six paintings, she has created a figurative abstract painting with white background with the touch of one color stroke for the rectangular and square figures; then orange, red and yellow color strokes on circular figures. These paintings give you a vibe of a family of three — mother, father and a child — together where the child is happy holding a bright colorful balloon.
Meanwhile, in another painting in a dark background, she has created male and female figures using colors like green, blue, yellow, red, white and grey. The use of red lips, red tika, yellow nose ring and earring in one figure suggests it’s a female and next to it is a male. They are placed parallel to each other where a curvy grey line like a ribbon flows from one end to the other end of the canvas on the top, along with repetitive smaller rectangular patterns on the bottom make you know about the things they have been doing repetitively together, and the white moon on the top of the canvas depicts the sense that even standing together, yet they have a sense of not knowing each other’s emotions, completely.
She has come up with her solo exhibition after a gap of more than a decade, where one can notice the change in the colors she uses and how her figurative shapes depicting men and women tend to blend just like the hues she has blended in this exhibition.
And due to the stillness in life she had to face during the pandemic, she came to develop a soft corner for everything which is reflected in the paintings in terms of colors and composition of figures as well as patterns. Previously, there used to be a concrete contrast of colors in her composition and now there is a harmony in the use of hues.
The title of the exhibition ‘Sambeg’ means the thoughts and feelings one gets while thinking of their desires. Desires to earn more money, be famous, etc; however, due to the pandemic the flow to achieve them seems stuck where people got worried about how to earn, what to do, how to get cured of the disease and so on.
She added, “It is not possible for us to get what we desire, if we do nothing but just think. We need to try our best to get what we want. And the pandemic created a sense of pessimism in everybody’s life and looking around my surroundings, I too got a depressed feeling. So to get rid of it, I began to paint which added to my motivation and I was able to complete as many as 38 paintings which are showcased in the exhibition.”
She said that the symbols - in circular shapes using hues like white, orange and yellow - moon and sun in her paintings suggest optimism amid the unknown due to the pandemic. Then the use of mandalas and mantras instinctually got space in her composition as her form of asking for blessings during the time of pandemic.
To her, art is life, without which she cannot live. When asked why she used abstract forms in her painting, she replied, “I used to do detailed work during my teenage years and after marriage I experienced different things in life which I had never experienced. All those feelings from my experience came easily to me in abstract forms and I enjoyed continuing the same. So without much plan I have devoted myself to abstract forms.”
If you want to see how the intangible emotions become tangible, visit the exhibition that continues till October 8.
- by Sangita Shrestha
- by Sangita Shrestha
- by Sangita Shrestha