May 21, 2024, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

An exhibition of Japanese style paintings by Sapana Kharel

The Nepal Weekly
January 31, 2023
Artist Sapana Kharel explaining on her creations at the show

Shilpanjali is an art show organised at Nepal Art Council, Kathmandu. Artist Sapana Kharel has exhibited a number of Japanese style paintings as a solo presentation. The show was inaugurated by senior artist and former vice chancellor of Nepal Art Academy Kiran Manandhar. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Manandhar said that Sapana did well in painting in Japanese style. As other countries pay enough attentions to preserve native technologies and trends, Nepal also learn from them to preserve abundant art heritage of the country.

Prof. Bim Shrestha also spoke on the occasion. Representing Japanese embassy in Nepal Ms. Sato Mayuko participated as a guest. She spoke on multi-dimensional relations between Nepal and Japan.

Sapana Kharel was in Japan for studies for 5 years where she took an opportunity to engage in Japan’s ancient art tradition – Oshibana and Chigiri-e.

Creating live art by organically sticking dried flower on a special kind of paper is the feature of the ancient art technique. Her creations exhibit that she was attracted to this art thinking that creating beautiful flowers around the world through painting means living with love for flowers and nature.

So as art works of Sapana represent her dreams in flowers, petals, leaves birds and fishes mainly. She expresses emotion in the heart after tasting. Her creation is close to reality. Those natural objects play important role in the human life. Thus human emotions are filled in Sapana’s fine artworks. 

Creating art work in the ancient Japanese technology in Japan’s resident paper is not easy. So that Sapana is considering to use Nepal’s Lokta paper in future creations.

Literatures describe that Oshibana is the art of using pressed flowers and other botanical materials to create an entire picture from these natural elements. Such pressed flower art consists of drying flower petals and leaves in a flower press to flatten them, exclude light and press out moisture. These elements are then used to “paint” an artistic composition. The origin of this art form has been traced to 16th century in Japan, but it is now practiced worldwide. The resulting artwork is referred to as an Oshibana.

Similarly, Chigiri-e is a Japanese art form in which the primary technique uses coloured paper that is torn to create images, and may resemble a water colour painting. The technique dates from the Heian period of Japanese history when it was often used in conjunction with calligraphy. Handmade paper is essential for the creation of Chigiri-e images.

In Japan’s Heian period Chigiri-e was used in conjunction with calligraphy. Poems were written on a background of either plain or decorated coloured paper, such as in the textural passages of the Genji scrolls and the Sanju Rokunin Kashu. In the 11th century calligraphy paper was usually white or light blue: it could be decorated and coloured and then mounted onto a support.

Chigiri-e has become a popular art form. It can be used to create either realistic images or abstract ones. Its use in Japan is often decorative, using flowers and landscapes as subject matter. The paper may be coloured by the craftsman paper-maker but many Chigiri-e artists colour the paper themselves, using vegetable dyes, coloured inks or powder pigments.

The visitors find amused with the Sapana’s artworks displayed in the exhibition. They opine that Sapana is creating an artsphere in Nepal with applying Japanese traditional techniques.