An exhibition, ‘Wood Carving: The Art of the Newars of Nepal’ was held at Taragaon Museum on July 1
July 1 at 4:30 pm, a striking spectacle of the wood carving arts and works of Indra Prasad Shilpakar from Bhaktapur were displayed in the exhibition ‘Wood Carving: The Art of the Newars of Nepal’ organised by Taragaon Museum and The Saraf Foundation For Himalayan Traditions. The event was attended by His Excellency Lasse Bjørn Johannessen, Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal, Rohit Ranjitkar from Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust, Art Historian Madan Chitrakar, foreign diplomats, various artists and guests from the upper echelons of the art world and media personnel. The exhibition will be held till July 7.
This event was organised to gravitate young generations towards the woodcrafts, remind them about the importance of preserving our culture, history and keeping the tradition alive. After the earthquake in April 2015, many of the cultural heritages were destroyed and the Kathmandu valley lost its allure of crafts. It is now a growing concern to restore and rebuild these heritage sites for promoting tourism. Slowly, the sites are being restored but due to the decreasing numbers of artisans creating wood carvings and traditional architecture, it will be hard to preserve and recreate these art forms if such calamities occur again.
The event was inaugurated by His Excellency Lasse Bjørn Johannessen, Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal by lighting the oil lamps. Roshan Mishra, Director of Taragaon Museum presented the ceremony. The artist, Indra Prasad Shilpakar welcomed the Ambassador and VIP guests with a bouquet, khada and a token of love from his own collection of woodcarvings.
To honour Indra Prasad Shilpakar, His Excellency said, “The works displayed here are intricate and created with great precision. The artist has been able to collaborate traditional culture of Newars and make it into modern stand-alone and movable objects with touches of originality which can be exhibited anywhere. Previously we had to come to Kathmandu to observe these arts but now it can be exhibited all around the world which is a great way to promote tourism.”
Indra Prasad Shilpakar said that he and his father Indra Kaji Shilpakar, a reputed wood-carver himself, crossed paths with the Norwegian Ambassador during the restoration of windows, doors and struts of the Bhaidegh temple in Patan when Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust approached the Norwegian Embassy.
The exhibition consisted of wood carvings of Buddhist and Hindu deities like Vidyadhara (flying wisdom bearers), Gandharva and Kinnaras (celestial musicians), Ganesh, struts, windows, dragons and Kritimukha. They bring shape to themes such as fertility, erotics, wisdom, compassion, meditation and music. All the guests were enjoying the exhibition and praised the artist for his success.