These digital drawings are visual metaphors of nature and
spirit expressed in abstract symbols and colors. For the past twenty
years, my paintings and sculptures have integrated the language of
early modern abstraction with Buddhist and Hindu imagery from my native
Nepali culture. The computer has enabled me to unify these diverse
ideas into a new format. Digital drawing expands the possibility of
experiencing different visual forms linked by similar aesthetic values.
The digital drawings presented here are part of an installation, AKASH-HIMAL, featured in the exhibition Divine Carriers: New Art from India and Nepal.
Akash Himal // Sky Mountain is an interactive installation of abstract
artworks that are both traditional and electronic. It explores the
similarities and differences between these two approaches with regards
to how art is created, stored, transported, exhibited and owned.
Digital artworks are juxtaposed with mixed-media drawings on hand-made
Nepali paper to show similarities of geometric composition. Sculptures
and a line drawing with pigments also provoke comparisons between the
traditional and electronic materials and methods of art making.
This installation also reflects the spirituality of nature expressed
in the form of abstract symbols. The colors and iconography of Hindu
and Buddhist rituals of Nepal have influenced this art. It is a
synthesis of many other traditions, including Native American,
theosophy, and early modern abstract art. The process of creating art
is a form of personal ritual. The studio is a sacred space where one
can retreat and meditate. This installation provides the possibility of
experiencing different forms of art united by similar spiritual
Four series of digital drawings - based on the circle, square,
triangle and synthesis of all three shapes - show the evolution of the
electronic drawing process. The computer offers the potential for
making complex images. First a basic drawing is created and then
abstracted using the techniques of cutting, pasting, layering,
duplicating, reversing, tilting and stretching the image with MS
Windows 3.1 Paintbrush program. Working on a laptop, intricate
compositions can be created in a small working space and short amount
During the exhibition, new digital artworks will be created and
added to this Web page which can be accessed in the gallery or at home.
The Internet's World Wide Web provides a unique opportunity to show the
latest works to a large audience by transcending the traditional means
of exhibiting art. The gallery visitor's interaction with the art can
continue in his or her own time and space.
In contrast to traditional art materials which are physically
tangible, computer-generated art, until it is displayed on a monitor or
printed in hard copy, exists only in the form of invisible, electronic
information. It is stored as magnetic impulses in a disk or in computer
memory, making the storage of artwork comparatively easy. The various
stages of drawing can be saved at different points during the formation
of an image. Each of these saved compositions is individual artwork
that also functions as part of a series.
Akash Himal //Sky Mountain synthesizes the vocabulary of Nepali and
American cultures. Sky - Akash in Nepali - is a metaphor for electronic
art, which is often imperceptible yet, present in space. Himal, or
Mountain, gives feature to the landscape as traditional artworks
provide texture to this installation. The abstract aspect of the sky is
reflected in the imagery of the drawings. And as the mountain embodies
nature's solidity, the materials of the sculptures reveal stability.
Like the mythic Mount Meru, believed to hold the earth together,
traditional art forms the foundation for experiments in the new medium
of electronic art.
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