Promoting the art scene in NepalTsherin Sherpa unveiled his sculpture ‘Skipper-Rising’ at Hotel Yak & Yeti last week.
Hotel Yak & Yeti organised an unveiling ceremony for Tsherin Sherpa’s sculpture ‘Skipper-Rising’ on Wednesday at its gazebo.
Born in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1968, Tsherin Sherpa’s journey has been an exploration of cultural duality. After immigrating to California in 1998, he transformed traditional Tibetan thangka painting into contemporary expressions, deftly merging the sacred with the secular. ‘Skipper-Rising’ is yet another testament to Sherpa’s unique artistic vision.
The sculpture depicts a god-like figure clad in metallic gold briefs, exuding an air of both disdain and confusion. With pink bubblegum blooming from his scowling mouth, it challenges viewers to contemplate the nature of indulgence in the material world.
Arun Saraf, the executive director of Hotel Yak & Yeti, and Namita Saraf attended the unveiling event. With over 20 years of experience as a collector, patron, and curator in Nepal and India, Namita provides guidance to artists and art enthusiasts, particularly in the realm of contemporary art. She was also the one who commissioned Sherpa’s ‘Skipper-Rising’. During the event, Namita shared insights into the art scene in Nepal and commended Sherpa as an exemplary figure for other artists in the country.
Namita was drawn to Sherpa’s unique style when she came across his work. She loved his art, which is a blend of traditional and contemporary elements. “Sherpa demonstrated that you can stay rooted in your tradition and still produce something modern,” she remarked.
Namita also revealed that she has always had a deep love for art, having enjoyed painting since her childhood. “I love the creativity it brings,” she says. She believes that such creative works should have a public space for others to see and appreciate. For a while, she had the desire to bring Sherpa’s work to life at the Hotel Yak and Yeti, and finally, the idea of ‘Skipper-Rising’ came along.
Describing his recent work, Sherpa states, “The sculpture is a reflection of ourselves,” and extends gratitude to the Saraf couple, “Arun and Namita have been working with diverse artists for a long time.” They have been involved in projects like Taragaon Next, a platform for artists, writers, photographers, architects, anthropologists and cartographers, as well as Sagarmatha Next, an initiative to preserve the local culture and traditions in the Khumbu region.
In the art world, having the skill and desire to create isn’t always sufficient; patronage is also needed. “Without patronage, nothing moves in the art scene,” says Sherpa. So, it was important for the Saraf couple to bring Sherpa’s art to the forefront and encourage a culture of patronage. “We have to celebrate our modern artist,” says Arun with a smile. He adds, “Many renowned artworks, like those by Leonardo da Vinci, were created for patrons.”
“This is the start of a long journey,” says Namita, “A journey to promote art and artists by offering space.” The Saraf couple and Sherpa are collaborating on another major project with a shared objective—to cultivate and internationalise the art scene in Nepal.