Although from a farming family background, Asha was born in 1973 in the heart of the old city of Patan. In fact his home was so close to Durbar Square that it became his playground, and ultimately, perhaps, the biggest influence on his desire to be an artist. How could anyone growing up among the incredible art of the temples not be so inspired? He is married to Erina Tamrakar and they have one son, who may or may not follow in his parents’ tracks. Art was his greatest passion as a young painter, and they believe their love marriage was cemented firmly by their combined passions for art. They met while studying Fine Arts at Lalitkala Campus, Tribhuvan University.
One might need to see the work of a good number of artists before being confronted by the extraordinary images that come from the brush of Asha. His contemporary style pulls no punches and is screaming out for comment and contemplation. He does actually follow tradition where it matters, but in general he loves the freedom that modern art allows. He finds traditional art constraining, although he does of course appreciate its skill, meaning and worth. He marks 2010 as a turning point in his career. Before then he concentrated more on sketching, figurative art, landscapes, cultural themes, and festival action.
After 2010 Asha’s “art journey” diverged, as he was touched deeply by contemporary issues that have translated into his art. Social and economic issues, environment and nature have all come into play. Through the Covid lockdowns, he became increasingly aware that humanity is not as free as it would like to believe, and now it is the animals that are perhaps freer than man after all! See his pictures that mix the human frame with animal heads to fully appreciate this theme (I am Human series). Asha always like to portray a story or a deeper meaning in his creations, and anyone who sees his work is bound to be confronted by striking realities that beg for further investigation. Despite his confrontational style, Asha has a deep respect for his culture and thus far it rarely attracts negativity from stricter circles.
After the earthquakes of 2015, he began work on a new series entitled ‘New beginnings’ with themes related to pollution, a sense of loss for that which was familiar. As climate change becomes rampant, new topics are always there for exploration on canvas. His painting that includes a vision of Everest suggests the great anger being felt by the mountain as a result of the climate change being imposed on it by humans. He loves the deity Bhairab for its expressions, its anger, and full-blooded raw moods. The old cars below signify the effects of pollution on the planet. The painting neatly defines the so-called ‘Age of Kali’ that is perhaps raging.
Asha and his wife Erina are among the leading contemporary artists of Nepal and are two of the founding members of the Kasthamandap Artists Group and E-Arts Nepal, which has been at the forefront of promoting art. E-Arts Nepal now has around 60 Nepalese artists’ artworks for sale online. As artists they have traveled to Europe, the USA, China, and much of Asia, promoting and being involved in the international art scene.
His art features in galleries across much of south and southeast Asia, Europe, the USA, and even in Kenya. Be sure to view his work at the MoNA Museum, and take a deep breath when standing back to admire his images! See also www.asha-erina.com