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Asha Dangol, New Beginning

Compiled by: Pabita Dahal

Asha Dangol is an established name in the field of art. A multidisciplinary artist, Asha has been creating and showcasing his work since 1991. He holds a MFA degree from Tribhuvan University and is the Co-founder of Kastamandap Artists Group and E-Arts Nepal.

Asha Dangol has held 12 solo exhibitions and one retrospective show in Nepal and has been exhibited in different parts of the world. He has also participated in national and international art camps, workshops and residency programs. He is the recipient of several awards and recognitions.

Recently Asha showcased his new series titled ‘New Beginning’ which engages viewers in a provocative dialogue about urbanization, consumerism, and ecological concerns. His work in this collection visualises the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015 and the journey to rebuilding life after the devastation. WOW’s Pabita Dahal caught up with the exceptional artist and below are excerpts of their conversation:

What inspired your new collection of paintings?

New Beginning is the depiction of the situation after the earthquake and the realisation of what should we do after the devastation. All the paintings in this series are based on the earthquake and its aftermath… the beginning of new life, a new journey after the earthquake in Nepal.

Can you tell us about your process of work?

All my series in this exhibition are based on conceptual and social causes. And the process is developing the concept, creating layouts, using photographs or key drawings, and the creation of artwork fusing with contemporary, fantasy and traditional concepts.

How often do you create a series?

Every year I come up with a new series based on a new theme. Bringing new and influential contemporary issues to the forefront through my art is most important for me. It takes a whole year to finalise a series.

How do you define your art style?

I define my art as Nepali Contemporary Art. It’s a fusion of contemporary and traditional issues or situation. I prefer to work in all media including performance, installation and mixed.

If you could be born in a period of art history, when would it be?

Surrealism, in Dali’s period, I really love his works and they are very much inspiring.

How has your work evolved over time?

Evolvement in painting cannot be measured objectively because there are minuscule things to be cared for. But with every new series, I find myself matured and energetic.  Dedication, devotion, and continuation are the three things I consider to be keystones of my evolvement.

I have become more curious and imaginable now and my paintings have also matured. Painting is a totally practical art which needs continuous practice. Every time I come up with innovative concepts, I find myself indulged in more fantasy.

How has the art scene transitioned in Nepal?

My art journey started in 1991, and since then the Nepali art society has been steadily growing. After the introduction of the International Art Festival, residency programs and exchange programs such as Kathmandu Triennale, Photo Kathmandu, Himalayan Art Camp have brought a lot of changes in Nepali art. Also, Nepali artists have participated in International Biennale, and they are now capable of independently interacting with international artists and curators.

Who are the upcoming artists that one should look forward to in 2019?

Anil Shahi, Sujan Dangol and Koshal Hamal

Three artists that you look up to in Nepal?

Shashi Shah, Kiran Manandhar and Ragini Upadhyaya, they are Nepali legends.

A piece of art that you would like to be remembered for…

Where is my village? A painting created after the earthquake.