FeaturedAsian 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. 

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Love in the air 2008

Modern lovers with modern gadgets

Love in the Air was created in 2008, a beautiful year that brought great love and hope into my life. Love is such a bright light that always brings hope and peace, and romance to feel once again alive. This love expression has become so easy with new tools of communication. The lovers can communicate their feelings so quickly through internet tools. The world has become so close and the relationships are getting more effective with the new ways of communication.

Ragini’s Odyssey 2001

Art journey in the social reality

This series is the result of my observations and meetings with real people in the context of a young democracy. Nepal had its first multi-party elections in 1991 and several untested leaders took power.

I observed all kinds of attitudes, hopes, courage, and emancipations and fed this observation into my art.

My art is a special mirror of society and of my own feelings.

Corona tears

The pandemic viewed by an artist

Corona tears were created in 2020 after covid 2019. as an artist I feel, the pain we human beings has given to animals and nature! It is the result of the pain and suffering of animals that are returned back to us as corona tears. It is our KARMA , whatever we have given to animal, it has returned back that KARMA to us. Now it is time to think about respecting all the animals and nature to make balance on earth.

Art Talk at Daniel High School, Madison (Connecticut, USA)

Read what they have published

In late March, Daniel Hand High School was pleased to host internationally acclaimed Nepalese artist and philanthropist, Ragini Upadhayay Grela. She gave two presentations to the student body during her visit to Daniel Hand. She spoke with students about the transformative power of art and the power of individuals to effect the change they wish to see in the world. The presentation was a window into another culture, offering students an alternate perspective while affirming the universality of our hopes for the future.  

Ragini is the first female chancellor of Art in Nepal. Her dream-like images, infused with Nepali and western symbolism, address socio-political themes including women’s rights and environmental concerns. 

Ragini’s visit to Hand was made possible by Hand teacher Suzanne Gaskell who received a grant from Fund for Teachers to work with a traditional and contemporary artist in Nepal to inform curriculum for a course that would focus on the role of arts in peacebuilding. Gaskell connected with Ragini through a global art initiative, the Breathing Project, which is designed to honor the experiences of healthcare and essential workers who have risked their lives to help others. Ragini’s visit to Hand was part of her first trip to the United States.

After the presentation students were invited to write a message of love, hope, and peace on colored ribbons that will be displayed alongside images of Nepal and reproductions of Ragini’s work. The Hand community also collected money to donate to the Shivata Love Foundation. Ragini created the Shivata Love Foundation in memory of her teenage daughter who succumbed to meningitis in 2016. The foundation promotes education by awarding scholarships and raises awareness about meningitis which remains a major killer in poor countries such as Nepal. It also aims at women’s empowerment and promotes self fulfillment through art.  

Link to the full article

Struggle for Democracy

History in the making

People Power works series, I created in 2006, when the people of Nepal, were in street for democracy in Nepal. I believe that nothing is more powerful than the public voice. This series shows the struggle of the public of Nepal to get democracy in Nepal. The mixed-media works have expressed the story of Nepal’s democracy.

Nature Speaks

Save the Nature to save our Future

I created  Nature speaks series fro; 2011. In all my paintings tree’s became like human with feelings expressing their problems. The important of their life for our life. requesting to save them to save our future

A moment with an artist

Skye Gallery presents a unique opportunity with Nepalese artist Ragini Upadhyay Grela

The work of Ragini Upadhyay Grela, a Nepalese artist and a printmaker, is currently showing at Skye Gallery in Providence. Grela’s work revolves around religious tolerance and women’s space in Nepali society and depict the need for peace, love and compassion. Her work is deeply emotional, shown by her use of bold and aggressive lines and colors, and speaks to the human degradation of the natural world through pollution and technology.

Grela intended to travel to Providence with her work, but was unable to do so because of the pandemic. Instead, Skye Gallery has created what it’s calling a type of “speed dating” event. Interested art lovers can book a 15-minute visit with the artist to see her work and ask questions of her via video from her home in Nepal. Bridgewater State College anthropology professor Diana Fox also will be present to provide context.

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.