Nonetheless, the younger Shilpakar says it is difficult to make a living making traditional wood carvings for temples, whereas experimenting with modern forms of traditional art and exhibiting them in galleries can earn the artist extra money.
Shilpakar’s Taragaon exhibition that ended on Tuesday depicted the best of woodcarving found in temples: windows with intricate patterns of flowers, deities like the Buddha, Ganesh, and Matrika, animals like crocodiles and Garuda, a pair of singing Gandharva and dancing Kinnara.
Even more modern renditions of traditional wood carvings are strewn around Shilpakar’s workshop in Bhaktapur. Senior Shilpakar and his son share a passion for traditional woodcraft, and have designed their home keeping true to their Newa heritage. Carved wooden pillars line the ground floor, a traditional wooden staircase leads to the second floor which has intricately-carved wooden windows.