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Jupiter Pradhan

Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now

March 15–October 6, 2024

Photo by Pranab Joshi

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Jupiter Pradhan (he/him)

b. 1977 Kathmandu, Nepal; lives and works in Kathmandu, Nepal

Jupiter Pradhan delves into the complex interplay of social, political, and cultural dynamics in contemporary Nepalese society. He believes that art, throughout history, serves as a reflective lens on reality and beyond, revealing the subtle intricacies concealed from ordinary perception. With a commitment to unveiling these hidden facets of our dynamic yet nuanced reality, he reimagines Western stories such as Gulliver’s Travels and relates it to neocultural colonialism in Nepal. 

Jupiter Pradhan holds a BFA in painting from the Tribhuvan University (2005) and a MFA in painting from the University of Development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2009). He is the founder/trustee of Space A, for interdisciplinary art practice.

 

ABOUT THE ARTWORK IN REIMAGINE

Jupiter Pradhan; The Protectors; 2023; fiberglass, plastic, flexible aluminum mirror, wood, yak hair; courtesy of the artist

Reimagining a scene from Gulliver’s Travels, a cherished story from Jupiter Pradhan’s childhood, The Protectors comments on the complexities of cultural evolution and the burgeoning impact of neocultural colonialism, the desire of wealthy nations to control the values of other nations through cultural means for their own economic reasons. Inspired by the Rubin Museum’s sculpture of Mahakala, here Mahakala is positioned as a hero akin to Gulliver, becoming the advocate or “the protector” of local cultural preservation, prompting a reflection on balancing autonomy and external influences, and urging viewers to cherish and safeguard the country’s heritage and identity. The installation features traditional Nepalese masks, military toys from 1990s Nepal, and a body cast of the artist.

 

RELATED RUBIN OBJECT

Mahakala; Central Tibet, possibly Densatil Monastery; mid-14th to mid-15th century; gilt copper alloy with inlays of semiprecious stones and pigment; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.16.20 (HAR 65443)

This object from the Rubin Museum’s collection is presented in the Reimagine exhibition in dialogue with The Protectors, inviting new ways of encountering traditional Himalayan art.

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