We are extremely excited to announce the next upcoming solo exhibition ‘Reminiscence of Mithila Motifs and Lifestyle’ by Namrata Singh from Mahottari, Nepal. The exhibition is planned for Saturday, 15th January 2022, from 5 pm onwards at Bikalpa Art Center and will continue until 29th January 2022.
The exhibition ‘Reminiscence of Mithila Motifs and Lifestyle’ showcases the artist’s inclination towards the ancient Mithila folk motifs but in a modern expression. Depiction of vibrant colors, sacred Mithila motifs, and symbols in her paintings are brimmed with positivity and optimism, hope and luck, and nature and purity as she fuses the relics of ancient Mithila styles with elements of modern art.
Recollecting the fondest of her childhood memories of Mahottari in the eastern Terai region of Nepal, where the artist, Namrata Singh grew up, she paints impressions of traditional Mithila art and culture (Nepalese folk art) using vibrant colors, many sacred Mithila symbols, and anecdotic depictions of Mithila women. Her paintings are brimmed with positivity and optimism, hope and luck, and nature and purity as she fuses the relics of ancient Mithila style with elements of modern art, showcasing life as a whole.
Singh showcases the happiness of life within self-using Mithila Art-inspired motifs like; men, women, lotus, swan among many others. Meanwhile, she does not hide away from life’s reality where hardship, struggle, and sadness are inevitable. In the midst of vibrant blue, green, red, and pink hues that contrast brightly, Singh cleverly depicts the gloomy side profile of human faces by painting it black to convey sadness.
Using acrylic on canvas to create beautiful figures of women, the artist accentuates feminine beauty by using traditional elements, representative of Nepali females- red bindis, red lipstick, and red bangles that show motifs of traditional Mithila and traditional Nepali societies as a symbolic way of spreading compassion and blessing.
Being the first one in her entire family to choose arts as a career, Namrata recollects memories of having to justify her choice to her family and relatives. Her will to take a stance on her choice despite the social constraints is suggestive of strong willpower to promote women’s self-dependence within the context of conservative and patriotic Nepali society, where traditionalist attitude towards women choosing art as a feasible career pertains. This sense of women’s empowerment portrayed in her painting, but in a subtle way, however, doesn’t resemble toxic femininity as she doesn’t fight with gender issues, nor does she sabotage others while advocating for her personal worth and women’s societal status. Instead, all that she does is simply embrace stories and the existence of Nepali women’s demography, while painting their life experiences under the themes of happiness, sadness, and love.
So her paintings can be seen as an ongoing quest for exploring humans’ undying wishes and desires. She suggests that it depends on oneself or one’s attitude about what to embrace in life—happiness or sadness, and it is only a matter of choice. And the result is an array of exuberant paintings that bloom with deep emotions, prosperity, and positivity.
I am Namrata Singh, a contemporary artist from Mahottari currently working as a full-time artist in Kathmandu. My primary source of inspiration comes from day-to-day life with flavors of rich and diverse Mithila tradition, culture, lifestyle, and from my own experience.
I have been always fascinated by the artworks that create moods, emotions, and atmosphere, especially those paintings that lift me and transform me. Therefore, I try to capture the inner picture of my soul and strive to create them in my paintings. Likewise, the subject of my paintings mostly dwells around the self-content feeling and romantic environment. The mood and the emotions of the characters are very simple and effective. Positivity and Negativity are the only representation of the time that is always constant but the change is inevitable which is why the illustrative storytelling of Mithila woman, daily life, the connection with nature, and the contrast lines have become the prominent elements throughout my artworks.
As an artist with a traditional background, it was very difficult to break away from the traditional figures to modern approaches and subjects while also trying to work on the traditional lines, so as to maintain the familiarity with the traditional paintings, I have tried to incorporate the traditional motifs and contemporary stylization. The motif, the cultural values, traditions, interrelationship between human and natures and the most of all positive an environment that has a lot of inspiration to create my paintings.
I have received MFA from Tribhuwan University in 2013 and I have accomplished two solo exhibitions in a series ‘Fragrance of Life I’ at Park Gallery, Pulchowk, Lalitpur in 2016, and Fragrance of Life II at Newa Chen Gallery, Patan Lalitpur in 2017’. I have participated in SAARC Art Camp and Exhibition of Paintings- Nepal 2017. I have received a ‘Special Award on Mithila Painting’ in the national exhibition by Nepal Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) 2021, and ‘Artist of the Year 2017’ by Newa Chen Gallery.
Update after the exhibition opening