At first glance, this painting does not seem to inspire much, it looks ordinary and is not pleasing to the eye, either. But give it time and space to incubate, and it radiates a quiet energy, like an inner applause for a battle won over negative emotions. Proof that the artist has been at a low point in his life, and is back up to show us how it felt.
If we reflect on the painting long enough, it may bring back our own dark moments, reminding some of us of the process of recovery, how we emerged stronger, determined and self-reliant. No matter what our struggle, there is always more ahead to look forward to. But evoking and honouring these memories empowers us to meet adversity head-on and overcome them
Dipesh was confused about himself and about his passion for art. So, he travelled to Kathmandu seeking skill and exposure. Luckily, his older brother was in the city and took care of him.
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“Yet, internally I found no relief, being weighed down with my own thoughts, feelings and emotions. I submerged myself in my work, as an escape. Hard work became a form of a band-aid, but it never really healed the wounds,” Dipesh relates.
As a teenager, I too had issues like Dipesh. And as a way to escape them, I travelled to the United States at age 17. My band-aid was enrolling as an exchange student, my senior year in high school. Folks in Nepal covered my costs, and I lived with an American family for a year.
Unfortunately, I had developed vitiligo, a depigmentation of skin colour. For a teenager trying to adapt to a new society, this was disheartening. With no relatives or friends, I felt totally isolated, not because I was bullied, but due to the turmoil inside me.
My horror at my own appearance and how people would view me was unbearble. I lacked confidence, kept away from people, afraid of how they would react. It got to the point where for four months I ate my lunch in the school bathroom, and then went straight to class. There was a sense of achievement in just avoiding people.
Today, I no longer feel embarrassed or inferior. I believe those hard years gave me a solid foundation to face anything and everything that life throws at me.