Gurung believes he has captured the last of a generation that carries our identity, as younger Nepalis are ‘already fitted out in denims and pride themselves for embracing western culture’.
“They have already made a transition from madal to box speakers, rodhi to mp3 players, hand sewn bags to polythene ones, handmade garments to imported polyester, bamboo baskets to zebra bags, and from sanduk to flatscreen TVs. We will soon lose the older generation, erasing hundreds of years of our identity, tradition and culture,” laments Gurung.
His paintings force us to ponder identity, how we can hold on it, and whether it is even possible. The paintings are a testament to a lost time, and present Gurung’s concern for his own heritage, which he seems powerless to conserve. But at least he has preserved and documented a part of his culture in his art.
Read also: The Craft of Art, Sewa Bhattarai