Rajani comes from a family of artists from Bhaktapur and is the daughter of Sundar Sinkhwal, a renowned painter from the city. Currently her family are living in Naya Bazaar in Kathmandu, but they retain connections to their historic house near the Nyatapola Temple in Bhaktapur. Born in 1997, she is just 24 years old and already developing different strands of art.
She studied Fine Arts at the Sirjana College for four years, where portrait and contemporary art were the main styles, while she learnt traditional paubha painting from her father at home. Online studies at Lumbini Buddhist University have given her a broad background in art, other than the Hindu themes she experienced in Bhaktapur as a child. She has long had a strong interest in paubha, which to an untrained western eye is hard to differentiate from the Tibetan thangka. She has also developed a keen interest in portrait painting, and her work is strikingly impressive.
Although she comes from an artistic background, this has not always made her path easy. As a young female artist, she has had to overcome some prejudices, with perhaps the family history one of the most difficult to breach. She has found that being the daughter of a well-known artist has provided a head start in the field, but it is her own undoubted talent that will drive her forwards. At school she originally decided to study science, but drawing anatomy during biology lessons made her realise that she preferred art, and that was where her talents and passion lay.
She sees her main direction in the future involving paubha, which constantly offers the opportunity to experiment with ever more fine details and interpretation. However, she also has an underlying passion directing her towards more portrait painting. That said, she is currently working on an amazing painting that combines legends and historic events with the landscape – a possibly unique style and theme for development. The painting concerns the draining of the lake that once covered the Kathmandu Valley, which was drained at Chobar Gorge when Manjushri slashed through the gorge with his sword and freed the waters. The as-yet incomplete picture is blossoming, showing that an exceptional imagination is at work here. Look out for this amazing painting – perhaps one of many to come.
Rajani is not shy to admit that her father has been her biggest influence to date, but her obvious talents will surely lead her to develop her own unique styles. She is sure to be showing her work at the Mona Museum soon, but currently, her art is exhibited mostly online; look out for her on Facebook and Instagram.