Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Art and about
I was lucky enough to visit with a well-known painter of Hindu and Buddhist Tantric art, and didn't even write about it. Yet.

Samundra Man Singh Shrestha is so cool, he is friends with Robert Beer.

No, cooler than that - Robert Beer actually buys his (Samundra's) paintings. His most recent exhibit was at the Sacred Art & Sacred Space Auction in San Francisco.

He's also a good friend of my Charya dance teacher, which is why we went to hang out at Samundra's house in Lazimpat.

There are still plenty of painters in the Newar Poubha tradition, as well as in the Tibetan Thangka tradition. These traditons, like most classical schools, leave little or no room for innovation. Samundra has the technical ability to produce such works, but uses that background to render his own interpretations, particularly of Nepali Hindu gods and goddesses (Bhairab, Kaumari, and so on).

Samundra puts a lot of Rasa or Bhava (feeling or expression) into what could otherwise be static images with parameters set down by the Shastras (scriptures dictating artistic guidelines).

Anyway, I was too much of a bonehead to remember my camera that afternoon, so here is a wee example of his work. On the website you can see more.

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