Chaos and Beauty: Kathmandu in Digital Rendition

April 11, 2016 , by DREAMS, 7 Comments
Chaos and Beauty: Kathmandu in Digital Rendition » My Dreams Mag
Ashim Shakya is an artist, art director and a music composer based in Kathmandu, Nepal. His artworks reflect the chaos and beauty of his surroundings and time; his works mainly influenced by the current events. His primary form of expression is through the medium of digital art and DREAMS caught up with Shakya for a small chat on his recent artworks.
Why do you prefer the digital media to express yourself?

The main purpose of my artworks is to portray my subconscious to the viewers in the best and agile way possible. I have worked with various mediums previously and I have found digital media to be very effective and handy along my work process.

How is the market for digital artists in Nepal?

The market for digital artists isn’t matured yet in Nepal, as majority of the people aren’t familiar with the process and effort it takes to create one. But a good artwork is always a treasure and there will always be a group of people who appreciate such pieces of art despite the condition of the market.

“Trail of Liberation”
This artwork resembles the family’s urge to escape and relocate from this chaos and pressure built around them due to the unbalanced political situations, overcrowding and scarcity. 
Tell us about your series “Identity”, what made you choose such a theme?

“Identity” is an intense word; it’s an ever-changing phenomenon, a variable. Each work in the series is composed from the mutual conception, qualities, beliefs, and expressions that we portray as a Nepali. Thus, there was no better single word that I could define the series besides “Identity”.

How satisfied are you with this series?

The reception from the series has been very satisfying. It’s whenever people relate their reality with my confusions, that I find my artworks most successful; and it has been happening more so with this series.

The old man and the city resembles a mutual expression, a transition of strength and weakness, rich and beautiful in culture and tradition yet so very fragile in condition.
Though various interpretations has been extracted from this work along time, It was primarily created to aware us the two facts, that we are landlocked as a country and that the inhabitants of Kathmandu rarely travels outside the valley while most of the people conceptualize Kathmandu as the whole nation itself.
In the below image from “Identity” series, you have used national dress and a headless human. What does it symbolise according to you?

The national dress resembles us Nepalis, while the head replaced with a thick cloud of smoke portrays the chimneys of industries denoting pollution and chaos. It is trying to communicate– “we reflect our surroundings as it reflects us.”

How often do your viewers define your work rather differently than you had originally intended? How do you take such situations, if any?

There are many cases in which people perceive differently with my artworks according to their personal experiences, society and taste. For one instance, one of my works, “Enclosed” received many different perceptions. Some inclined their expressions towards the recent earthquake, some towards our chaotic yet distinct society, but it was originally created to portray our landlocked country.

I find those cases very satisfying; the randomness in thoughts within us, distorted by our taste and the society we live in, amuses me.

This tries to show the sudden disappearance or extraction of the oil trucks during the blockades. The houses levitating (being extracted) is trying to portray that families involved in Black Marketing are being extracted as well. The title itself is a unity of two words “Extra” and “Action” which is self-explanatory having various interpretations.
What is your favourite series that you really enjoyed working on?

I really enjoyed working on the series of digital paintings “Tribal Nepal”. In this series, I have portrayed Nepalis elements and culture in fusion with my subconscious strokes. The subconscious strokes are kind of a fingerprint; the style and appearances vary from person to person and is something that’s unlocked with constant practice.

Which of your series has been most popular among the audiences?

The most successful series of works are the ones related to the blockades but I am yet to give it a title.

“Mellow Dwellings”
While I stroll around the traditional houses, I encounter certain feelings, it uplifts my soul as if I am listening to a good music. I decided to express this mutual feeling combining both the aspects combined. While I working on it, I happened to compare the similarities between a musical band and a society, which are very similar in terms of co-operation and responsibility. The original description being : ” Souls of triumphant comes over these houses where Music dwells in every walk and gestures as I pass the melodies of my path. A lone house may chant some notes but it’s the community that composes a “Harmony”.
You are interested in photography, calligraphy and music as well. How do all these relate to your digital artworks?

Yes, I pursue calligraphy, photography, direction and music production professionally and each new technique and skill I have learned till now is very much interconnected to each other. Photography acts as a backbone for compositions, colour, mood and lighting, while calligraphy has improved my strokes, flow and design sense in general. Music is more like a projector for my mind because I make music based on visual elements.

Would you like to say anything to DREAMS readers at the end?

The quality of our dreams is the direct result of the state of mind we have while transitioning to sleep. I believe life is an elongated version of the night’s sleep where we shape our dreams as we’re struggling to fall asleep.

For me, I am currently living in my dreams and as dreams are unpredictable, I am happy to co-operate and move along with it while inspiring more dreamers like myself.

I have given a lot of myself on this work. Here I’ve tried to portray the situation of the country during the Blockades. The whole city is burning as a fuel to cook food, a pressurized situation both inside and outside the pressure cooker.
From the series “Tribal Nepal”
“This is one of my favorites among my digital paintings. The extended facial hair of the old man resembles his old age and experience as hair grows longer as times pass.”
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Categorised in: Arts

7 comments on “Chaos and Beauty: Kathmandu in Digital Rendition

  1. Pushkar Giri says:

    Excellent work indeed. Very unique and yet very rational. Keep it up. Hope to see more from you, cheers!!!

  2. Your concepts are awesome.

  3. Ashish Adhikari says:

    Really cool and innovative!

  4. Bipa says:

    Loved your works. Could really ‘feel’ the pressure from your “pressurized”.

  5. punam says:

    Great work……..Must appreciate the Artist imaginations……..

  6. So great work for informing us of the possibilities and following a certain path.

    I really appreciate your hard work an giving us some information and inspiring others to follow.

    Thanks so much.

  7. Rabindra Ghemosu says:

    Dear Ashim Shakya Sir,

    The piece of this Digital Art (Concept, VFX and Way of Presentation) is so awesome and inspiring for me.


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