S C Suman’s 18th solo exhibition Mithila Cosmos: The Cycles of Time is the sixth in a series that juxtaposes traditional form and aesthetics with contemporary issues in Nepal.
Suman was the first Mithila artist to do a solo exhibition of this traditional artform of Nepal’s Madhes in 1991, and was recently awarded the International Lifetime Achievement Award by the 2021 Madhubani Literature Festival held at Darbhanga in India’s Bihar state.
“An artist is a social creature,” he tells us, “informed by the time and place around them.”
Indeed, since 2007, Suman has depicted the aftermath of the Maoist insurgency, the promulgation of the new Constitution, and the 2015 Earthquake in detailed paintings simultaneously rooted in Mithila traditions and style.
His latest is equally timely. Like a liminal deity, his brush looks both ways – at the ancient past and the anxious future – as the artist seeks to explore the tales of creation and analyse the effects of the Covid pandemic in a finesse of colours and intricate lines.