Kailash Shrestha's paintings are dark splashes of black and red, one bleeding into the another and producing constantly shifting shapes. Almost all of the 24 canvases Shrestha exhibited this week use what he calls the tantric colours-red, white, black, the colours that are supposed to be present in the eye. But the paintings are not dark or depressing, as the black and crimson usually give way to white, as if finding the light in darkness.
Shrestha's solo show, A Shift of Vision, was the first in a series by final-year BFA students from KU's Centre for Art and Design in Bhaktapur. The nine solo student shows run for four days each through June.
A Shift of Vision is a strong start to the festival. From Shrestha's perspective, even mundane objects such as pots, windows, and poles become a whole lot more interesting. There are contrasts in his pictures that Shrestha says represent life and death-a closed window next to an open one, a dark splash merging with white.
The show is largely inspired by the artist's native Bhaktapur, and here contrast is also a way to understand and culture. Red chillies hung out to dry, a sari draped in front of a house, and twin pots hanging on outside walls are recurring motifs.
They are common enough images in Nepali art, but Shrestha makes them his own-the chillies explode upwards, the pots hang in thin air, the sari is a dark cloud with a red lining. This granular imagining of what may or may not be present is a major hook of Shrestha's paintings. "Even a small object should tell a bigger story, a story of something more," he says.
Pranaya SJB Rana
For more information on the student shows ring Baryo Fiesta at 4414395 or Juju at 9851050299.