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Pictures speak a thousand words!

Kholo 2.0- A Cycle of Life

2021 Feb 28, 17:25, Kathmandu
Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa

Representing Nepali artists from different art styles, Tulikaa has brought Kholo back after its first exhibition back in 2019.With the new series called ‘A Cycle of Life’, Tulikaa has brought 28 different Nepali artists representing seven different art styles which will go on for seven months.

From photography to digital art, they are going to have it all!

Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa
Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa
The Photographer, Prajal Bhattarai!
Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa
The Photographer, Prajal Bhattarai! Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa

Talking to one of the artists, Prajal Bhattarai, whose photos are on display at the Van Gogh Gallery, Dhokaima Cafe which is located right next to Patan Dhoka, he says, “Photography is very personal thing for me and I have been doing it for 13 years now. Well, we all have to vent our emotions one way or the other and for me photography does that. It helps me express myself in a way words cannot. To be honest, I don’t click pictures thinking of emotions but it helps me feel alright.”

And when asked ‘How did he know he wanted to become a photographer!’ Bhattarai adds, “I remember the first time I got a smartphone with a camera and started clicking pictures. I would click pictures of everything and anything, especially the insects I found on the table. I was and still am fascinated by everything. I try to dig a deeper meaning in the objects I click pictures of whether it is a dead insect of something else. That is when I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do.’

“As the hobby turned into passion, I wanted to represent life and nature through my work. To show how nature grows without interrupting the cycle. For example let’s just say, I am sitting in the living room and see a fly on the window. I can see it but it cannot see me and I will click a picture but will not interrupt its way,” Bhattarai shares.

And talking about his present collection of eight pictures at the gallery, Bhattarai informs, “I took these photos late at night. I like going out to Mangalbazar when there are no people around. So, when someone sees the picture I wouldn’t want to enforce an emotion but it makes me feel peaceful. The pictures may seem a bit chaotic because of the white dots but it is actually helping me pacify my thoughts.”

And talking about the lockdown and what it was like for him to stay in and not be able to go out to take pictures, he said, “I take pictures every day aside from the lockdown. Talking about lockdown, not as a photographer but as a human being, for two months it felt like a break but as days went by, I really missed my friends. So, the first thing I did after the lockdown ended was hang out with my friends.”

Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa
Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa

And as for Tulikaa as a brand representing many artists, CEO of Tulikaa, Ujjain Norbu Gurung, said, “During the lockdown, Tulikaa actually made a lot of progress. We went digital and now have our own website. I think Tulikaa was always ready for the pandemic because we never really recovered from the earthquake. Two months prior to the earthquake, we had just opened a store. So it was actually one of the worst times for me and the brand. So, I was always a bit sceptical about the physical space in Nepal because of the natural disasters, and also the political instability. So, I always wanted to go online! And right before the lockdown we were planning for an exhibition called ‘Synthesis’. It got cancelled, but rather than wondering what is next, we just decided to go digital.”

And talking about the current exhibition, he went on to explain the real reason behind Kholo.

“When Tulikaa got into the art scene about five years back, what we noticed was that a handful of senior artists were the only ones doing exhibitions. So once we talked to a number of young artists, we realised many of them were really frustrated since they don’t really get opportunities or a platform to showcase their talent,” shares Gurung.

“I won’t lie, we were guilty of doing so as well, since I had been working with lots of senior artists before. Sure we were representing younger artists but the ratio was not quite right. It is not just about the ‘young artist’ but anyone young trying to make their mark in the country. It’s really hard, it is almost like work and work but there are no rewards or play,” he adds.

“So Tulikaa came with the idea of working with the young artists - one month four artists, mini-solo exhibition. And we actually started off with Ravi Shrestha, Sujit Maharjan, Rashna Bajracharya, and Kamal Shrestha, and it was quite a success. That is when we debuted our Kholo frame,” Gurung informs.

And when asked what Kholo actually means, he went on to say, “Kholo frame is inspired from prayer views. On a personal level, it is very important for me because I wanted to redefine the meaning of a frame. When one thinks of a frame it is always a square box, but I wanted to break out of it. So, we wanted to find a way that will not only stand for tradition but also redefine one’s perception of art as well. As for Kholo 2.0, it is called ‘A cycle of life’ since kholo itself is round representing a constant cycle. All of the artists in the seven-month exhibition represent a different cycle of art and life.”

“The theme of Kholo 2.0 is dark because I think we, as humans, are all in dark, there is no guarantee of how things will work out. So we wanted to show that reality is dark, however, art when it is the most powerful can actually get people out of their darkness. Its role is to shed some light in the dark. With the small series with different art styles, we are not just trying to sell art but we are always here to educate people of what art can actually be. When people talk about pictures, they think of modelling or clicking pictures of mountains, but it can actually show emotions in a way words may not be able to do so. We wanted to challenge people’s definition of each genre.”

Some may not understand what Gurung or Bhattarai are trying to say when they talk about how pictures can show emotions too. But once you see the pictures, they are so chaotic and peaceful at the same time, it almost makes you realise how one is questioning their existence but knows they are there anyway.

No wonder they say, “Pictures speak a thousand words.”

Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa
Photo: Prajal Bhattarai/ Tulikaa
Art Exhibition art
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