Visual Artist, Kathmandu, Nepal
Mahima Singh is a Kathmandu based interdisciplinary visual artist. She perceived art as a means of expression from her childhood age. She was awarded 1st in several art competitions during her high school study. She pursued her formal art study in 2000 at Tribhuvan University, Lalitkala Campus, Kathmandu. Mahima holds a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Korea National University of Art, South Korea and BFA from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu Nepal. Her work has been shown in two solo exhibitions, Spontaneity and Control in DM gallery and The Rain in Godo Gallery, both in Seoul, South Korea in 2012.
Mahima is currently working in the mediums of performance, portraiture, and installation art. Her latest project (2016 to present) is a series of post-mortem portraits of those who passed away in the April 2015 earthquake. These mixed-medium portraits question our materialistic world and showcase the impermanence of life. Few works from the series have been displayed at Unesco World Health Conference, Liege 2017, ‘Unesco- Most IYGU/ Arts et Societe’ Program
Mahima is the co-founder of Bikalpa Art Center, lecturer at Tribhuwan University, MFA, New Media Program and currently a Program Coordinator at Mobile Library Nepal in collaboration with Asia Art Archive and Siddhartha Art Foundation.
Growing up in Kathmandu’s old alleys, courtyards, the neighborhood with great monuments and religious sites has influenced my work at different levels. Learning from everyday life is the main source of my creative explorations. My works are very much a reflection of my surroundings that widely covers diverse subjects and areas from political insurgencies, natural disasters, social discrimination, violence against women to name a few and finding my own identity and role in society.
I paint, make installations and perform to express my inner feelings and sometimes to raise awareness in different issues of society. Living in society, which is full of competition where everyone is into the game of power. The uncertainty and violence, I see in the world inspires my works and is particularly influenced by natural disasters, disease, violence, and terrorism.
My latest project (2016 to 2019) is a series of post-modern portraits of those who passed away in the devastating earthquake in April 2015, in which I too lost my sister. These mixed-medium portraits question our materialistic world and showcase the impermanence of life. The process I choose to create my art can be a way of self-healing through which I try and enunciate the transient nature of the materialistic world. Prior to this particular process which I have envisioned for post-traumatic healing through art, I had engaged myself with a community especially with children and women in Patan, one of the three historic cities of Kathmandu. For me, finding a connection with society and helping them through the medium of art brings more meaning to my work.
LOST IN COLORS
Kathmandu Triennale 2017 and Kathmandu International Performance Art Festival 2016
I tried to portray the idea of busy lives and how we are all lost in its daily chores. It’s an irony to me to see how the fast chain system and social transformations is taking over the whole humankind evolution in today’s era where barely people get enough time to rethink and be within the self condition. A question of the whole human evolution, where are all going?
In this performance, I have metaphorically used the color of the rainbow that represents the color of lives and used it as a pigment to cover the self within or just to be within the self, ‘Lost in colors’. Through the body movements and acts, I tried to express the struggles and finding of lives but ultimately leads to the end where I cover myself with the color of the rainbow; that way ultimately get to the self. That is the whole quest for the finding. BE WITHIN THE SELF
WOMEN OR OBJECTS?
Performance art as a form of protest align with a social movement Occupy Baluwatar 2013
I did this performance in collaboration with a group of four enthusiasts on the 50th day of the Occupy Baluwatar movement with One Billion Rising, Violence against Women movement. I and friends became sculpture for 1 hour outside the Prime Minister’s House and ask the viewers to write their opinion on Woman or Object on the plain fabric hanging behind. After an hour still statue, we started the slow body move and gradually turns into an active improvised expressive performance interacting with public in the crowd.
The performance took place in different parts of the town marching with the crowd protesting violence against women, 15 minutes at king’s way below the statue of King Mahendra and finally 10 minutes in Shanti Batika in Ratnapark marching with the crowds down the road. The whole performance was 3 hours long.
STAND UP AGAINST EXPLOITATION & HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Performance art 2015 at Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur, Nepal
This performance was commissioned by Radiant Women organization. In this performance,I depict the story of a young victim girl name *Sita from far-west Nepal and I tried to portray the idea of human trafficking especially Nepali young girls get manipulated and sent to different countries via the props and the body moves. The performance tries to express the fight against exploitation, human trafficking, social cohesion and freedom.
9000+ Not just Numbers
Whatever comes from nature goes back to nature. Impermanence is the permanent cycle of the universe. To portray this idea through installation art, the artist has created a spiral shape symbolizing the universe suspended 6ft above a mandala which symbolizes the earth. The mandala is made from colored sand, with each of the five colors representing one of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. The five elements are a part of our daily lives and are regarded as the foundation of everything in the universe. Connecting the universe above and the earth below is a triangle suspended on a string. The triangle represents humanity. When the triangle moves the crisp clean lines of the colorful mandala will be destroyed, and through this destruction, a new and unknown creation will be constructed. This installation is a literal representation of the ephemeral cycle of life and humanity’s destruction/construction participation in this cycle.
Tuhau Tyo Garva
Performance at Newa Chen, 2015
“TuhauTyoGarva” performance raises the issue of violence against women. The issues of rape, acid attack, girls dying of rape and mental illness which is being everyday news and bringing terror in our society amongst girls. This performance is a mirror to our society and system, which is very chaotic. It is rather a question to those who are responsible to shape a society; will we be able to give a safe environment to our girls?
The performance has a poem titled TuhauTyoGarva by PranikaKoyu in the background and live drum playing by Rabin Kaji shakya and installation by artist SaritaDangol. The performance engaged three different places simultaneously, starting from garden to courtyard and inside the gallery in the end. The performance was 30 minutes long.
RAIN OVER KATHMANDU
Bikalpa Art Center, 2013
“Rain Over Kathmandu” raise the issue of environmental pollution. Focusing the water pollution of the Kathmandu, I use plastic bags, bottles and other garbage to an installation depicting the river of Kathmandu. Underneath the installation, was a layer of mud where I did my performance covering myself with the mud and was wearing a cloth of plastic bags. The performance took place at Bikalpa Art Center, Pulchowk, Nepal.