8 figures

Curatorial notes

“8” has the symbolic meaning of self-confidence, success, inner wisdom, compassion, self-discipline, decisiveness, efficiency and prosperity. It is the number of infinity and can relate to infinite love, infinite energy, infinite imagination and infinite creativity. Number 8 certainly have many affirmations. The eight noble paths of Buddha (Right View, Right intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right Concentration), eight directions in Vaastu shastra, eight auspicious symbolsAshtamangalAshtamurti of Shiv typically the forms of water, fire, sacrifice, sun, moon, ether, earth and air as a higher significance and female higher forms as Ashtamatrika. 
The number 8 is also a symbol of Karma, the effort, the action and the deed, symbolically it is used as endless knot in Ashtamangal.

“8 figures” an exhibition is to bring the essence of optimism in the society. After the hard COVID pandemic, the socializing is far from our thought. We were completely into the virtual existence that hindered the time into alienated space. But, it was a time for self-realization and individual practice. Social engagement is essential part of life to bring the dialogue in close contact. As an artist we believe in action, physical presence and physical deed.  

Just to enhance the creative dialogue into real-time experiences, the exhibition of 8 contemporary artists Kishor Jyoti, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Kuntishree Thapa, Manjari Dutta, Meena Kayastha, Mukesh Shrestha, Pratima Thakali and Sujan Dangol brought eight different visual interpretations with figurative forms, formless form, minimal forms and ethnic representation. All works have some narrative inputs and expression. Art itself has infinite possibilities and the exhibition “8 figures” brings some gesture towards socio-cultural and political milieu. This exhibition is the restart of visual culture through physical spirit during the post pandemic momentum.

Manish Lal Shrestha


Kishor Jyoti (Young Flame) is a self-taught visual artist, graphic designer and illustrator. He got his additional art training from Pagoda Institute of Fine Arts, Tinkune, Kathmandu, for five years. The artist is known for his philosophic and poetic thoughts in his works. He has exhibited his painting in two men painting exhibition entitled Beauty and the Beast (2017) in collaboration with artist Lisha Gaihre. He has also participated in several group art exhibitions such as Group Exhibition Entitled Beauty of Black & White organized by Kasthamandap Art Studio, at Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal, Kathmandu, (2015), “In the skin of the snake” in Soest/Germany, in collaboration with German Artist Mr. Fritz Risken 2016 and a Pagoda Group’s exhibition entitled ‘Symphonic Existence’ (2018). Pagoda Group’s exhibition entitled ‘Symphonic Existence ‘, Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal (2018), Delhi Art Symposium, New delhi (2018), Pagoda Group’s exhibition entitled ‘Coherence‘, Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal (2019). Bhitta, an online group exhibition organized by Tulikaa kala (2020).

Artist Statement

Hanging onto a thread of hope, like a pendulum between birth and death. Serving as a slave to a clock, my actions are narrowed to my fate Like everyone else in existence, I was born with a bondage A prison I can’t touch but feel, that weakens me more with my age I have been squeezed and crushed, I have been burned into ashes every stroke turns me into pieces, when the hammer of time smashes But still, I manage to escape, to a land of my imagination where chains of limit don’t exist, that restrains me with compulsion Where I can dive into the depths, of endless reminiscence or I can take a leap to witness, visions beyond my sense.

Everything seemed a burden to me, within the circle of life and death neither I wanted to live in doubt, nor I wanted to cling to a faith one day I came face to face with the light, all life’s darkness was dispelled I found I was a bird, immured within a golden cell

from ages I have been taught, to segregate dirty from the clean to separate right from the wrong, to fight for the religion against the sin I lost my feathers in this battle, but yet i can dare to fly to a place beyond this duality, lies a single eternal sky

Title: Mokshya | the Liberation
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 40” x 50”
Year: 2017

Title: Prisoner of Time 
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 30” x 42”
Year: 2019

Krishna Gopal Shrestha is a visual artist based in Sakhu. He completed MFA from Central department of fine art, Tribhuvan university 2013. He has participated in several group exhibition and workshop in NAFA, LEAF, CAAN, Sirjana Contemporary Art Gallery, Lalit Kala Campus, Nepal Art Council, Yalamaya Kendra, Artist society of Nepal and many international shows in Japan, China, Thailand, Italy and India. He has several prestigious awards in his credit including National Exhibition of Fine Art 2018 Special Award, Water color residential workshop 2018 special award, Jaipur India, Aichi prefecture Assembly Chairman Award, Japan 2018, 6th International Water Color festival 2020 Best Artist award, Jaipur India.

Artist statement

When it come to my art works, I got interested in representing my own culture religion and tradition. The heritage, culture and religion that surround us is being diminished day by day. Therefore, the ancient heritage that carrier our history has become the pensive subject of interest. Even though the subject matter is not new, I have attempted to give it a contemporary look by merging it with my feeling and ancient monuments are damage and degrading day by day therefore, in order to contribute something from my side to preserve it I am researching on the heritage that surround me. Afterward I make my art work.

Title: Ethnic Door 
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 48” x 36”
Year: 2020

Title: Ethnic Door 
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24” x 36”
Year: 2019 

Kunti Shree Thapa (Born. 1990, Morong, Nepal) deals with painting and performance as part of her major art practice in the idea of everyday living experiences – based on the context of social issue and modern life style. Kunti completed her BFA from Lalitkala Campus, Tribhuvan University (2012), MFA from Central Department of Fine Arts, Tribhuvan University (2016).  Kunti has participated in various art exhibitions including “Reflection of Feminine Power”, Classic Gallery (2021), “Infinite Thoughts” Classic Gallery ( 2020), Nepali Art in Lockdown’’, E-arts (2020), “The Alphabet of Violence in Resistance”,  Zubaan  in a collaboration with Nexus Culture Centre, Kathmandu (2019), Himalayan Art Festivals”, E-Arts Nepal, Nepal Art Council (2018,2019),  “Amalgam”, Siddhartha Art Gallery (2019), “Equality and Freedom”, American embassy (2019), “International Women Day”, LA Gallery, Baudha, “Buddha’s Philosophy in South Asia”, Sanskar Bharati, Lalitkala Akademi, New Delhi,  Kopagunj, Mau (2018), Co Creative Connections 5, Taragaon Museum, Kathmandu (2018),Trans Culture Camp (2016) Bikalpa Art Center, Kathmandu. Currently Kunti works and lives in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Art Statement

This work was made during the early Covid Pandemic Era 2020. Representing myself as part of my society – I have used “balloon” as symbol of freedom and independence on the left panel and I have used Virtual Reality (VR) device and mobile on the right panel as symbol of artificial intelligence in a much more paradoxical way; the greenery environment is shown in the bottom of the painting which indicates that how the artificial world has controlled to human, human to animal and the animal to the natural world! It is just like how the kings and gods were shown on the top in the “Mughal Miniature Paintings” in order to show the supremacy and enlightened personality of the society. 

In my personal opinion, I thought, losing personality and identity is like losing our love, respect, strength within ourselves. Thus, in this painting, I am trying to show the purity and the beauty of its own tradition and cultural norms and values in a surreal manner.  

Title: Towards My Personal Journey 
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 48” x36”
Year: 2020 

Title: The Beauty Within 
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12” x 30”

Mukesh Shrestha is Bhaktapur based Visual Artist. He did MFA in Painting from Banaras Hindu University in 2008 where he received a Gold Medal for his work. National Fine Art Award, Contemporary Painting in 2012, Patterns Breakers Award, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark in 2016, Keshava Duvadi Fine Art Youth Award, 2018, Hem Ganga Youth Art Award in 2018, Merit Award, Golden Prize International Contemporary Art, Italy in 2019.He has held six solo exhibitions and participated in more than 70 group exhibition and painting workshops in Nepal and abroad.

Artist Statement

Mukesh finds inspiration in his socio- political issues and also his works are deeply inspired by the culture and tradition of Nepal. Since his debut in Nepal, he has been able to make a long stride over the years and has established himself as a modern painter. Mukesh has his own creative language. He uses distorted human forms to expression his responses towards the ongoing socio-political anomalies found in the present-day society. He is also seeking to convey massage of imminent ephemeral human nature- by the molten human forms.

 Albeit academically trained and groomed in contemporary visual arts, he also has yet another brilliant facet- with a blend of traditional ways with spiritual thoughts. While he’s remained more focused to the ongoing distortions- found in the modern-day society in his contemporary expression, he is also remained committed to express his inner spiritual desire or the essence from Buddhist thoughts in his other facet of creative expression. Buddhist imageries are essentially rendered and rooted in the rich earlier tradition of paubha painting. 

About painting

“True Love is based on respect, compromise, care and trust. In a relationship, love play vital role, it is not an exam to pass or fail and also not a competition to win or lose. It’s a feeling in which we care for someone more than ourselves. When we truly care for someone their mistakes never change our feelings only because the mind gets disappointed but the heart still cares….”

Title: True Love
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year: 2020

Manjari Dutta, 1993, is a visual artist based in Lalitpur. Currently an intern in Gallery MCUBE, graduated from Sirjana College of Fine Arts, Kathmandu (BFA). 

Silent Explosions I

COVID-19 took lives, she believes it wasn’t the end.

Title: Silent Explosion I
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year: 2021

Meena Kayastha is a visual artist with Bachelor’s degree specializing in sculpture from Kathmandu University, Centre for art and design, Kathmandu in 2007. She had two solo exhibitions “Lyrics from the Junkyard” in 2011 and “Divine Debris” 2016 at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal. She has participated in several group exhibitions and art workshops including Nepal- Thailand Art Exchange art workshop 2018, 10th Luxor International Painting Symposium, Egypt 2017, Artist Residency organized by Creative Fusion, USA 2014.

Artist Statement

She believes in the beauty of discarded objects. She stands against all odds and use her personal style of using debris and junk in order to express her creativity. She believes that beautiful things do not ask for attention and She wants to spread the awareness of observing stories in things that are almost obsolete in our lives. Nothing is useless, everything has purpose and her aim is to show people that immortality is possible for artists if they believe in their work enough. Art is timeless and what better way to prove it than use things that are considered waste and useless.

Title: “The Light”
Medium: Ceramic (Rakufire)
Year: 2017

Title: “Goddess Brahmayani”
Medium: Mix medi
Year: 2016

Title: “The Sun”
Medium: Mix Media
Year: 2016

Born in Mustang, Nepal, Pratima Thakali received a BFA in Visual Arts (2011) and MA in Art and Design Studies (2014) from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan. She works with various mediums and techniques, but holds a specific interest in the notion of memories. Thakali’s works are process-based, allowing for experiments and discovery within the subject and medium. In her role of teaching studio art at Kathmandu University, School of Arts, Department of Art and Design, she believes teaching art is one of the thresholds to create artistic vibes amongst the young art students and explore in Visual Arts.

Artist Statement

The idea of delving into the poetics of space draws fleeting emotions, memories, and stories. Holding onto memories has given forms depending on what we want to remember and forget. These bodies of works have been a portal to a distant time. 

They help me remember.

Title: “In-Between”
Medium: Plaster of Paris, dye color
Year: 2020 to 2021
Size: Variable

Sujan Dangol

Born in (1981) a painter, sculptor, performer, installation artist and a community artist, has graduated from Kathmandu University in 2012.

He has participated in several exhibitions and artist residencies and community art projects in different parts of the country as well as abroad. He has traveled in Japan, Korea, Denmark, Bangladesh, Taiwan and India with his art works as well as community art projects. Currently, He is working with his dramatic drawing series about Kathmandu city. He is more interested in rising cultural issues through his work because art is not only about visual pleasure but he believes that real art is all about attitude. It is a metaphor that reflects everything that is happening around the artist. “And he believes art cannot be manufacture, but it comes as a true gift from people to people by sharing and learning”.

Statement: Bhasa Mwa sa Jati Mwai 

Of all the things, the Newars are known for, their organization of the built environment sits at the top of the achievements. Packed rows and columns of houses, interconnected and interwoven with social lifecycle, Newar cities and settlements were/are distinguished and characteristically unique.

For much of Nepal’s modern history, however, the Newars have had to contend for the same lifestyle and outlook that made them them. There is much at stake for them, as Kathmandu Valley seats the economic interest of a nation choked on a downstream homogeneity – slowly assimilating each into a soulless life of commercial being. 

In this series, he unpacks the city as a foundation to the collective ideas that make up the Newars. How interconnected alleys dotted with sculptural expressions of piety and belief in the metaphysical now are the only escape for a people who have failed to convince others of the value the land holds beyond the harvest of the fore. 

With each pen stroke is erected a structure that harmonically joins together a tapestry of expressions, from the built shelters to the conceived gods and lived myths. 

Title: “Bhasa Mwa sa Jati Mwai”
Medium: Pen and Ink
Year: 2017
Size: 8.5” x 11.5”