Gallery Nine, Nepal
Masticated Faces

चपाईएका अनुहारहरू
Gallery Nine, Lazimpat
with Salil Subedi and Late Dipesh Burathoki

Continued at
Old Masters | Young Voices
Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore

The expressions in the masticated faces show the remains of torturous and violent experiences. It deals with the trauma of psychological death, which are the outcome of tragic incidents that are occurring in the country and across the world. Death is the actual theme here, which is being experimentally brought into the gallery through varied art presentations.

The artist’s performance with bandaged face depicts layers of tragedy and ignorance- a life that hides within the white scaffold of death attempts to peep out. Through this presentation he seeks something fixed and stable in the perplexing dim wilderness of uncertainty. Meanwhile, Salil and Dipesh attempt to reach beyond the limitation of the gallery wall by their performance to interpret the artist’s work.

The presentation of masks deals with the philosophy of Death. Death never shows its face. Its true identity is always hidden in the veil of incident or accident.

Mask of the dead-why have they been killed? Perhaps no one has a justifiable answer. Can the answer be found, if one peeps inside the dead expression? Is it outside the physical reality or is it inside the carcass or does the explanation dwells within the living?

Mask may also be witnessed as a shield to escape the fear of uncertainty. Masks cover everything and what lies beneath – is the true self – an answer without any complicated or annoying questions – just a plain and simple answer. Can that be found – is the question the artist asks.

The photographs arranged on one side of the gallery wall show the artist’s tormented images. With every tragic occurrence of death, a fragment of hope dies inside the artist’s psyche. These images show the process of how an individual reacts to a traumatic situation.

We start a day with newspaper. It has metaphorically transformed us into a newspaper itself. Every occurrence becomes a page and our experiences – desolate words. The word Death itself is not perhaps tragic but the dreadful way it comes, shocks everybody. And that shock of Death dominates every pages of the newspaper that makes our lives. Therefore the artist has published his brochure in a form of newspaper, which itself is a communicable work of art.

Pile of newspaper is arranged to form a well, inside which lies broken mirror. One sees his/her reflection on it. Traces of astonishments, laughter, and sadness, shock, surprise, alienation, loneliness, and happiness, hope …can be witnessed in the shining reflection. There is an invisible presence of death in every passing sentiment.

The artist scatters his photo-images on the floor. He indicates them as his consciousness. The artist wants the spectator to step on it, so one could leave behind dark phases and start anew. The artist takes the realization of death as strength rather than weakness to understand and experience life.

Utopian Introspection

Siddhartha Art Gallery





song of breath

first blush of the morning

not yet even active birds

early temple bells

another day recurs


memories-few half grown sentiments

borrowed, few ideologies

a will to achieve (ho hmmm…yawing!)


glancing into the mirror

an illusory reflection glorifies the external limitations

but the internal horizon hides underneath


aromatic incense-suffocates

stereotyped hymns

vermillion stained images


a quest for hunting down old paint

a befriending of scattered alien brushes

finding a palette in a throw away corner


a gathering of few fallen leaves

(but not quite,

chemically cloned brush strokes

easily available in the bazaar!)



easily identifiable perception

enlightened even under the shadow


easy search

borrow ideologies in bulk

pay debt in installment


spiritualism, divinity, transformation

a quest…

…momos for lunch

a sip of coke pushes it through a human pipe


invisible system junked by visible pollution


artistic expression is just an extension of thoughts,

not a knowledge itself

the knowledge is laminated carefully in a folio

unable to reach human expression


a thin layer of paint penetrates the pores

synthetic glue attaches dyed veins

a brush glides slowly within a defined periphery

constrained, confined yet so dignified


clanging sounds of bell vibrates my ear drums

a disease of madness

a season of insanity

running wild all by itself

escaping from the water of purity

gliding in the mud

of malevolence


haphazardly cracked lips

exhaling self to inhale others

great enlightened ones have inhaled

to exhale knowledge

injured cells-injurious to self


a thought triggers the brain

fingers reach out for

a dumping site

inhale and exhale,



another coat superimposes the underneath layer

hide and seek

the show goes on


vision gets clearer

underneath layer

peeps and smiles,

through a fresh new layer

i smile back


the day is done but i’m still on

birds chirp their last song

to sleep until cock crows


leaves show no sign of enrichment

but the layers of paint do

vein filled with colours of joy

leaves feel content


under the shadow bestowed by leaves

i rejoice with glaring colours of light

brush relaxes in a safer place

to stay intimate


a sigh of relief

as another drop of contentment

runs through my vein.