After the sketches are done, he picks from the three of his techniques—lithography, wood cut and etching—depending on which fits the sketch best. As opposed to a more prolific time when he was working on canvas, Lama has learned that putting more thought into what he creates, gives him more satisfaction.
“There are so many variations in tools and even if I change chemicals a little, the outcome is different. Noticing small things is like meditation for work,” he explains.
Apart from creating, Lama is promoting his studio as a resource for those who want to learn about lithography. He says it is all about tracing relevance.
“In Newa culture, we have the Chitrakars who do blocks, Ranjitkars work with dye. We have Tibetan influenced, flags in print. We just need to identify and create a printmaking curriculum,” says Lama, who explains that print is also connected to education and industry.
“When there was no offset press, people printed manually: newspapers, religion, entertainment, we’ve always depended on manual printing. But they have evolved, and if we set up community studios, we could teach children to do this. It’s the only way to preserve art.”
Kabi Raj Lama’s solo series, Cycles of Impermanence, will be on display at Siddhartha Art Gallery from February 19 onwards for a month.