Visual Artist, Bara, Nepal
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Saroj Mahato started his artistic career as a visual artist/ filmmaker from 2000. He studied BFA (Painting/ Installation art) from Tribhuvan University, (Lalitkala Campus) Kathmandu, Nepal (2004) and MFA (Video/ Film) from Korea National University of Arts, South Korea (2011). He is also an alumnus of the Asian Film Academy at the Busan International Film Festival. He has worked at Tribhuvan University Central Department of Arts for five years (2012- 2017) as a new media lecturer. His works have been seen at several in Nepal and abroad.
Saroj Mahato is the co-founder and director at Bikalpa Art Center (BAC) found in 2014. BAC is one of Kathmandu’s most promising contemporary art spaces. He has been working at BAC from 2014 as director and curator. As curator/ managing director, he has organized several international art projects like residencies, exhibitions and events which can be found under blog posts. During the course, he has successfully worked with multi-local as well as international partners, collaborators, sponsors.
Film-maker, and alternative arts promoter. Initiator and director of the Bikalpa Arts Centre (Pulchowk, Kathmandu), Saroj has for a number of years been a leading promoter in Kathmandu and Nepal of the importance of alternative arts and the equality and social transformation / social justice agenda they are particularly renowned for.
Saroj is the NIAP’s Nepal section’s lead for the programme’s equality & empowerment component, and will in the year and years ahead be developing both film work as well as, through the NIAP Bikalpa Arts Centre partnership, working to support art and artists exchanges, amongst other projects including a ground-breaking real-time film project that will link artists and the creative communities of the UK and Nepal to explore shared interests and issues.
PORTRAIT OF NEPAL
It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, which is a particularly moving saying in regards to portraits. The complexity and multiplicity of individual identity, and how an individual’s identity relates to the community’s identity, is beyond concise verbal and written articulation. Portrait of Nepal captures this complexity with the simple expression of the moving images. It is digital portraiture that challenges generalized assumptions of Nepali people by drawing attention to an exceptional individual.
The 5 digital portraits are 2-3 minutes looped video looking directly at the lens. 1 in the middle stands normal symbolizes balanced resolution amongst the complexity of 4 up-side-down. These digital portraits recreate the experience of looking deeply into a person’s eyes; creating an emotional connection between the viewer and the subject. This connection encourages the viewer to have an empathetic reception to the subject’s story.
This story is based on true and current happening situation in Nepal. Dhulo is a story of two street children struggling to survive in the complex urban circumstances. They are very good friend from their childhood. The story unfolds with an ordinary day in their lives. One of the boys finds a plastic toy gun while searching for food in the dump. The bigger and stronger snatches the toy gun from the weaker and runs away. This incident breaches their friendship and they go separate ways. 12 years later, the weaker turns into a destitute pickpocket and the stronger that snatched the toy gun becomes a young and popular but corrupt political icon. One dusty noon the pickpocket happens to lift the wallet of a man in a busy business complex. Caught in this devious act the man turns only to find that the pickpocket is long lost friend. They recognize one another. Now they face an ethical dilemma who is actually righteous and who is villainous?
This story is about three different individuals who are looking for a key. They don’t know what the key is exactly and why they are fighting for that in their virtual dreams!
-An apple is symbolically used as the key