Veteran abstract artist, poet and lyricist Uttam Nepali passed away recently at the age of 84. His real name is Uttam Prasad Karmacharya.
The artist died on early morning of 22nd July, while undergoing treatment at the Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Centre, Kathmandu, where he was admitted a few days ago for cardiovascular problems.Nepali had been suffering from heart and respiratory problems for a few years.
Nepali drew inspiration for art from religion and considered the source to be his strength and hope. Throughout his journey as an artist, Nepali had continued to experiment and evolve with his work.
He was one of the first artists to introduce abstract art and experimentations in paintings in Nepal. He studied arts from the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Lucknow. Nepali regularly merged poetry and paintings in his work and organised several art exhibitions back in the 70s, paving the way for modern art in Nepal.
He was also one of the first people to institutionalise art education and was someone who was always ready to provide guidance to the art community.
He was a lifetime member of Nepal Academy since 2000.
Artist Nepali had been living in Boston, USA, for a few years and had returned to Nepal in February.
He was born in 1937 in KilagalTole, Kathmandu to father Bishnu Prasad Karmacharya and mother Ratna Devi.Krishna Prasad Karmacharya was Nepali’s grandfather who had migrated to India during the Rana regime.
For that reason, Nepali spent his childhood and obtained education in Lucknow, India.
After graduating in art, he got married and returned to Nepal in 1959.
Nepali had worked in the Department of Postal Services and Information Department. He also worked in Radio Nepal for some time.
He was also a lyricist, who appeared in an important role in the first Nepali film “Aama”. After “Aama”, he also played a small role in “Hijo Aaja Bholi”.
Nepali had organised more than a dozen solo painting exhibitions.
On the literature front, his first Literary Nepali articles, compositions and poems were published in 1964 in ‘Madhuparka’.His collection of poems ‘Untitled’ was published in 2004. He was awarded the National Talent Award, 1997, and was honoured with ‘SuprabalJanasewa Shree Tritiya’ for his portraits of poets and writers by the Nepal government. Nepali is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. (The Nepal Weekly)