ART Bagmati On Oil & Water

Senior Artist Hari Prasad Sharma depicted historical and cultural life of Bagmati on his canvas<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

Sept. 3, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 4 No.-07 September 3-16, 2010 (Bhadra 18, 2067)

Were these paintings or pictures hung on the wall of Nepal Art Council Gallery? These unique works of art were narrating the history and culture of Bagmati.

Painted by artist Hari Prasad Sharma, the paintings on exhibit at Nepal Art Council showed a Bagmati which was replete with history and culture. Artist Sharma used water and oil medium to narrate his tale of history and culture of Kathmandu.

Divided under three sections history, lifestyle and culture, the paintings were testimony of the lifestyle of the Newar community as well as their culture and architecture. Organized by Arohan Gurukul and Nepal Heritage Association, there were 58 paintings displaced at the exhibition titled Kathmandu valley down the Ages.

Although artist Sharma is a Brahmin, he was born in a Newar locality where he grew up and lived.

“I am basically a Brahmin by caste but I grew up under the influence of Newari culture, festivals, values and attire,” said artist Sharma, who was born in Gophal tole in Lagan.

Portraying different traditions and rituals, he captured the scenes and various elements appeared in the background. His paintings started from the era of Mandev to golden era of Nepalese history or period of Amsuverma and the other phases. His paintings of Prithivi Narayan Shaha and Arniko receiving Tika were master works.


One needs to understand the history and culture to know about the country. As Nepal is in a political transition and there is apathy as well as controversy over the various phases of history, artist Sharma wanted to show how much heroes and builders of the history mattered and how culture and feasts united the people.

In the history sections, there were paintings and portrait of Licchavi Kings, Malla Kings and Shahs. The picture related to Prithivi Narayan Shah’s attack on Kathmandu and paintings of Kot massacre exhibited the ups and downs of Nepal’s history. Along with depicting the life of old kings, the paintings also showed the architectural beauty of the valley as well as cultural activities.

The cultural sections of the exhibitions were other important parts. He tried to portray all elements involved in the art and culture. At a time when the tradition to study history and culture is on the declining trend, artist Sharma’s exhibition gave the message that the theme can be popularized. His painting exhibition lasted for 22 days but the interests of people continued to rise.

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