KATHMANDU, Oct 30: On September 14, an open-air workshop titled ‘Return to Nature’ was held at Kirtipur by Park Gallery to mark the 75th birth anniversary of the legendary modern painter, the late R N Joshi. From an open call for applicants, the gallery selected 20 renowned as well as young artists to be a part of the workshop.
The outcomes of the workshop, watercolor paintings, are being exhibited at Park Gallery in Pulchowk. The exhibition which goes by the same name, ‘Return to Nature,’ opened on October 29. During the inaugural ceremony, Neera Joshi, the Director of the Gallery and daughter of the pioneer painter, shed light on the Gallery’s historical contributions to establishing watercolor painting in Nepal.
“During the formative years of modernism in Nepal, Artist R N Joshi firmly established watercolor as an important medium along with emphasizing the importance of going out of the studio to properly understand the fundamentals of modern art. During the period, Artist Joshi through his gallery organized a series of open air art excursions, workshops and landscape competitions in watercolor. Today, 40 years later, this gallery has been able to organize a similar event once again, to recognize the high stature of watercolor, reiterate the importance of nature in artistic development in contemporary art, and honor its dedicated practitioners in Nepal,” said Joshi. Curator and artist Saroj Bajracharya commented, “In Nepal when modern art was evolving in the 1960s, there were some prominent artists who extensively practiced watercolor, for instance R N Joshi, Manuj Babu Mishra, Durga Baral and Madan Chitrakar. ‘Return to Nature’ also commemorates the long dedication of artist, the late R N Joshi, for his inventive initiation of outdoor watercolor painting and watercolor schooling in Nepal.”
The gallery has also initiated an annual R N Joshi Prize from this year onwards. This prize will be awarded to painters who have dedicated their life to art, for their inventiveness and also for maintaining the discipline and dedication that they inherit from past generations. The prize this year was dedicated to watercolor medium in two categories.
Buddhi Gurung and D Ram Palpali were awarded the prize in the first category for their consistent dedication to watercolor. They received Rs 10,000 as cash prize each. The second category was awarded to Dhoj Bahadur Gurung and Kamal Gurung for their promising work during the workshop. Rs 5,000 each was awarded in this category.