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One painting after another!

Saurganga Darshandhari has not only been praised for her works in Nepal, she has  participated in artist residencies in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Korea and Japan. She was among the exhibiting artists in the second Kathmandu International Arts Festival, and has also exhibited at the 13th and 15th Asian Art Biennale (Bangladesh), and 19th Nippon International Performance Art Festival (Japan). The visual artist and printmaker talks to WOW about what it takes for one to make a mark as an artist.

Did you always want to become an artist?
I always wanted to become an artist but at that moment, I had no idea how, when and where I would end up. I struggled a lot. In fact, I still am. I still have a lot to learn.

What was your first job as an artist?
I taught at schools as an art teacher.

How would you explain your style?
I have never thought of a specific term to describe the style of my work.  I continuously work on various pieces then simply apply ideas that I capture from the surroundings I am in.

What do you usually express through your work?
For me, art is my diary. I feel emotionally connected to the little things in life. I like to create my artwork in a rhythm just like a flowing river, the blowing wind or movements of clouds.

What piece of your artwork would you like to be remembered for?
That would be ‘My mother’s purse’ prints’ along with the sound installation, which was exhibited in Kathmandu Triennial 2017. In this art piece, I’ve expressed my attachment towards my family, especially my mum recalling childhood memories.

Can you tell us about your work process?
I did Masters in printmaking from Dhaka, Bangladesh. My major is in printmaking, but I do performance art and installation too. Printmaking is a process where sketches are created by nitric acid then bathed on a metal plate. After the first stage, we put resin dust for tone and layer work. When the plate is ready manually, we put colours on it then wipe it and take a print on the paper. Each distinct work is followed by the same process of printmaking.

Do you believe that true creative expression can exist in the digital world?
Yes, I do. Moreover, I believe that a good concept and skills are very important to sustain in the digital world.

What is your daily routine when working on art?
I am teaching printmaking in Sirjana College of Fine Arts and Lalitkala College. I alternate my class and work schedule accordingly.

They say that art is a risky career and there is not much financial gain, what do you feel?
Yes, it is true. It depends on the artist as well. The fact is, I have immense satisfaction and love for research that I do on my work. You have to face and accept the challenges in order to reach your goals.

What is the best way for one to market their art?
We should be aware that the art of marketing your art requires a whole different strategy. There should be a concept and most importantly one should be patient.  I believe to market your art; you need to first create a niche market through consistency.