Ragini Upadhayay Grela’s new exhibition explores love in the modern age

In an exhibition that brings together old and new paintings, Ragini Upadhayay Grela explores what loves means in the modern age.

A Visitor looking painting of Ragini Upadhyaya at le sharpa, Lazimpat in the Capital on Thursday.

Love Revisited is an amalgam of works, some created more than a decade ago—in 2007, 08 and 09—and more recent ones from 2015 and onwards. The difference between the two lots is apparent. 

A majority of the earlier works feature nude, half-formed human figures holding appliances such as monitors, mice, keyboards, receivers and cell phones, flying in the air. In some pieces, the human figures are tightly clutching them while in others, they are  trying to get a hold of them.

These works feel prophetic. The advent of social media has changed the way romantic partners meet. While previously, there was no way for partners to share their feelings other than by meeting in person, now they have telephones, cellphones and social media. Naturally, this revolutionary development has both pros and cons. And Upadhyay Grela addresses them.

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Ragini’s ‘Love Revisited’ on display

Published On:  March 27, 2019 05:05 PM NPT By: Republica

The solo art exhibition ‘Love Revisited’ by veteran artist Ragini Upadhyay Grela is on exhibition since March 13 at Le Sherpa, Lazimpat. The exhibition is dedicated to all the daughters and mother of this Earth and also to celebrate International Women’s day 2019.

In her art works Ragini has used motifs such as women, heart, animals, etc. According to her, women are the creators who are next to god and who are symbol of love and pain. Meanwhile, they also play the role of a daughter, lover, wife, mother, grandmother, among others

They can have qualities such as love, power, sacrifice and patience. And this exhibition is the artist’s way to show the uniqueness of women and the realization that if love can give a person utmost happiness, then love can also give one an unbearable pain in life.

The pain of love and separation

Sewa Bhattarai Nepali Time March 27, 2019

Ragini Upadhyay calls her artwork an ‘artistic diary’, reflect her life events and yearnings. Her current exhibition Love Revisited at Le Sherpa is a visual documentation of her feelings. It showcases more than a dozen of Upadhyay’s prints, all centered around the theme of love, affection, separation, and the pain of love.

Many of the works have white backgrounds with human figures in blue and orange in various poses. The white backdrop gives a clean, pristine look to the paintings, so the viewer can focus on the images in the foreground. Most of the figures are in pairs: two people leaning towards each other, in conversation, in proximity, two hearts bound by threads. Upadhyay says the images reflect the centrality of love in life. “Love is all around us, love is everywhere. By showing two hearts bound by threads, I am showing how love keeps human beings connected,” she says.

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Ragini exhibits “Love Revisited” at Le Sherpa

Renowned artist Ragini Upadhayay Grela is showing her 61st solo art exhibition at the Kathmandu Art Gallery at hotel  Le Sherpa, Lazimpat on 13 March. The exhibition was opened on 13 March by EU Ambassador Veronica Cody and will continue for another month.

Ragini’s art shows symbols of love

Addressing the inaugural function of the exhibition entitled ‘Love Revisited’ that will run till 13th April, Ambassador Cody, said Ragini’s art show us the well-known symbols of love:  the human heart, the body transported, the blindness of love,  the slings and arrows of fortune in love, the wheel that keeps turning in an indifferent world – reminding us that while love can bring so much pleasure and joy, it can also bring pain and anguish.  Love is both earthly and heavenly.  

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Art & Soul – Ragini Upadhayay

“Life is a journey that puts you through despair and contentment in equal measure. It’s your attitude that decides how long both will exist,” shares famed Nepali artist, Ragini Upadhayay and the first woman chancellor of Nepal Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).

She also says that success isn’t about what you accomplish in your life, rather it’s about what you inspire others to do.

Ragini recently founded the Shivata Love Foundation in memory of her daughter.

The Shivata Love Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in Belgium and Nepal. It started from the idea of the parents of Shivata Upadhayay Grela, a 20 year old who was caught by the meningitis B bacteria and in less than 24 hours sadly left this world. The Foundation in Belgium raises awareness on meningitis B vaccine, while in Nepal it provides scholarship for the full education of underprivileged girls from rural Nepal.

Coming through great personal loss, Ragini is a strong woman who understands pain.

Over the year she has stood at the front of the evolving art scene in Nepal recognised for creativity and passion for arts.

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Ragini’s Wishes… on display in China

Ragini Upadhyay Grela’s artworks are on display in the exhibition series ‘Wishes…’ at Wang Xiao Hui Museum, Suzhou, China.

Artist Ragini Upadhyay Grela’s artworks symbolising climate change and ecosystem among others are on display in the exhibition series ‘Wishes…’ at Wang Xiao Hui Museum, Suzhou, China.

The 60th solo exhibition of Upadhyay Grela features 52 works created using different mediums like water colour, colograph, etching, painting and more as per a press release issued by the artist.

The exhibition series is inspired by Upadhyay Grela’s visit to China in September 2015 — like its title ‘Wishes…’, her works symbolise the fact that wishes of human being around the world are same, be it China or Nepal or any other place.

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Ragini chancellor

Asian Art News complete review

The Relentless Critic

Nepalese artist Ragini Upadhyay Grela has never been afraid to ask questions through her art, which has revitalized the satirical tradition of social commentary in the art of Nepal. She is exceptional in identifying contemporary ills be they of the environment or socio-political issues.

By Kurchi Dasgupta 

Divided Nepal, Acrylic on canvas, 2009

Nepal’s art world is dominated by men. Hindu and Buddhist religious paintings, for example, such as the Newar paubha and the Tibetan thangka are traditionally made by men. Western influenced academic and modernist traditions as well as contemporary art have been so dominated by a male vision that the emergence of distinct female voices in art—such as that of Ragini Upadhayay Grela—introduced a new worldview and visual language. Art historians have summarized the phenomenon “as the profession of painting was traditionally a man’s world, contemporary art produced by Nepali women speaks forcefully of a shift towards a perception of a world often centring around their gendered identities: of self, body politics, gender and sexuality.” Ragini Upadhayay Grela, who was born in 1959, is one of the most important artists in Nepal. And with nearly 60 solo exhibitions in Asia and Europe she is perhaps the most prolific woman artist of her generation. She moves as well with ease between printmaking and painting. 

Ragini sings through her art

Nepalese Printmaker Ragini Upaydhyay briefs about her work. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: Salvador Dali once said, “Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society, but also about the intensely social character of their interior lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation.”

Keeping in line with his thought, Ragini Upadhyay Grela is one contemporary artist, continuously growing and evolving to add creative aesthetic to her work. After being in the business for almost 32 years with 70 odd exhibitions under her belt, Upadhyay’s work is housed by royalty in Nepal and India, along with private and commercial collectors around the globe.

“The energy that South Asian women possess is fantastic and that is what Ragini captures in essence in her work,” said Arjumand, owner of Gallery 6. “There is a new imagery every time and that is the sign of a creative mind and a true artist,” she added.

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