These days, every food place provides wireless internet to keep its visitors entertained. Some are also into creative décor. Satendra Kaji Shrestha, founder of Souvenir’s Gallery Café, has added his own twist to lure visitors.
The 58-year-old former tourist guide always wanted to work in tourism as he considers the industry a major source of the country’s income. “Art and cafés are the two strong pillars of tourism,” he says. This is why, he adds, places like Souvenir’s, an exhibition place-cum-café, could be an instant hit among tourists.
“We can make this place the busiest tourist hangout area if everyone works together,” says Shrestha about his Soltee Mode-based eatery and the surrounding area.
For this purpose, Shrestha has collaborated with five internationally recognized Nepali painters, none of whom expects much profit from the venture. We are here to start a new trend, they say.
One of the senior-most artists in Nepal, Manandhar completed his Bachelors in Fine Arts from Sir JJ School of Arts, Bombay in 1970. With more than 35 years of teaching under his belt, Manandhar has five solo and 25 group exhibitions to his credit.
Abstract works with natural beauty gives him great aesthetic pleasure. “In the melodious motion of life, we sometimes see sudden silences,” says Manandhar.
Rajbhandri, head of the department of painting at Lalitkala Fine Art Academy, has been in the art scene for over three decades. She has a master's degree in creative painting and has successfully organized 16 physical solos and two worldwide virtual solos.
The artist, trainer, educator, and academician, creates compositions with spiritual tones and divine figures. Her paintings of lord Ganesh are widely recognized.
Says Rajbhandari about her works: “The parallel patterned texture provides a distinct dimension, adding delicacy and mysterious directions to my painting”.
Krishna Prakash Shah
A visiting lecturer at Kunst Akademie Kalkar, Germany (2016-2018), Shah is an established contemporary abstract Nepali artist. His canvas reflects a variation of close-knit colors and its rhythmic taste.
Shah completed his Master in Fine Arts from Tribhuvan University. An art studio member of Nepal Fine Arts Academy (1997-2015), he took part in the 14th Asian Art Biennale, 2010, in Bangladesh. He has showcased his paintings at three solo exhibitions in Nepal and Europe. No one can escape the instant artistic pleasure of his works.
“Abstraction is the perfect vehicle for innovation,” says Shah.
Nem Bahadur Tamang
A PhD scholar in visual art, Tamang is also known for his abstract visual arts. Also an assistant professor at Fine Art Campus, TU, he writes poems and passionately follows philosophical works. He has four solos and hundreds of group exhibits to his name.
“I focus on the depth of materialist figures,” says Tamang, who avoids cosmetic veils. He explores the complexity of human psychology to make his painting unique and inclusive. Instead of trying to find joy in the physical world, he likes to dive into the depths of imagination to draw pearls.
A gold medalist artist, Shrestha holds a Master in Fine Arts degree from Banaras Hindu University, India. He enjoys the fusion of traditional and contemporary paintings, which is a result of his socio-political inspiration. His six solos and more than 70 group exhibitions all connect structure and divinity, forcing all viewers into deep thought.
“I like to evoke feelings of love, compassion, and spirituality in my paintings,” says Shrestha whose works attempt to help spectators discover the path of love and spirituality. To add lucidity, he reduces the colors and curves–and avoids superficial decorations.