Commercial art with mountain scenery have always sold briskly in Thamel, but selling creative expression has been more difficult. However, with more and more artists becoming enterprising, things are slowly changing. Gallery LA exhibits are priced at anything between Rs5,000 to Rs500,000.
Music Art Gallery Cafe in Jhamsikhel was established last year and has garnered interest among art lovers and buyers in the area frequented by expats. Its ongoing exhibition Ages of Painting features Nepali artists of different generations, from Shashi Shah to Bidhata KC. The expressions range from severe line works depicting Kathmandu, to traditional Mithila paintings and abstract pieces. Realistic paintings of women outside traditional Newar houses depict ongoing innovation in Nepali art, with elements of traditional paubha paintings in modern compositions.
Sagar KC, amateur artist and founder of the gallery, agrees that art is exploring new frontiers of expression, but also cautions that it has a long way to go. “Several new galleries like Classic Art Gallery in Chakupat have opened after we started out, and alternative venues like restaurants and theatres provide space to host art exhibitions, showing there is more interest. But Kathmandu still has a long way to go.”
Manuj Babu Mishra’s expression, Sewa Bhattarai
The art of healing, Sewa Bhattarai