Introduction to Lok Chitrakar
Lok Chitrakar, celebrated for his paubha paintings, is a self-taught artist who started painting at the tender age of 12. His father and relatives made various religious arts and as a child Lok Chitrakar would observe them with keen interest. Slowly, he started assisting them and drew pictures of various deities in religious ceremony. He recalls, “I was 10 years old then one day, an urge to make an art of Astamatrika (eight female deities) captured me. I searched for its iconography and finally found it in a small temple at Indrachowk. Looking at it, I created my first Paubha art on a cloth.”
Art was in his blood. He was fascinated by the paints and brushes in his house and eventually dropped out of school to pursue the art form that came to him as an inheritance from his ancestors, who belonged to Chitrakar (artist) clan, known for their artistry since time immemorial.
According to Lok Chitrakar, Paubha is the visual interpretation of a text that makes philosophy simple and comprehensive for a layman’s understanding. The artist must be aware of the text which he is going to translate to art form. There are times when he needs to consult with priests and lamas to decipher the ancient wisdom that he is representing on canvas.
His relentless and untiring work over several years makes him one of the most respected Paubha artists in Nepal. The best part about him is that he does not seem to realize the artistic height he has achieved and the contributions he has made to his country, and perhaps, this quality in him is the major force that makes him work harder each day. He is eager to pass along what he has learned to future generations of artists.
Lok Chitrakar often works on paintings in the studio at Simrik Atelier and always has a selection of his work on display for visitors.