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Suresh Kumar Dyola: The tantric practitioner turns to canvas to show his love for Lord Shiva

Artist Suresh Kumar Dyola in his exhibition at NAC. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya
Artist Suresh Kumar Dyola in his exhibition at NAC. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya

What happens when a professional tantric practitioner becomes a painter? You must know this if you have visited Suresh Kumar Dyola’s ongoing exhibition, Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

The love for the lord

Love is a precious feeling that helps in moving forward with life and makes one feel alive. This very feeling of aliveness can be experienced in the paintings by visual artist Suresh Kumar Dyola (ChitraKabi) in his third solo painting exhibition.

Various stories related to Lord Shiva vividly have been awoken through realistic figures and hues in the exhibition.  

A viewer at Suresh Kumar Dyola's exhibition Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya
A viewer at Suresh Kumar Dyola’s exhibition Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya

Based on Shiva Puran, a holy scripture, Dyola has created 23 masterpieces, each depicting significant episodes in Shiva Puran. The artist says it took him 20 years to complete these paintings for the exhibition that began on August 22 at Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal. It will end this Friday (September 2).

Moreover, he has also published a book of a similar name with descriptions from Shiva Puran and his paintings accompany those descriptions.

“I should have done this exhibition in 2018, but it got delayed due to Covid. But, I am satisfied that my dream came true,” shares Suresh Kumar Dyola.

Connecting life to art

The artist says Lord Shiva influenced him heavily since his childhood, and it made him a tantric practitioner.

“My father is an artist, from whom I learned the skill, and my grandfather works as a tantric practitioner himself. I got the skills from them and I have always known that I am going to represent Lord Shiva no matter which profession I choose be it, writer or artist,” he adds.

After learning the basics from his father, Suresh Kumar Dyola felt the need for academic education in fine arts. It forced him to obtain a BFA degree from Lalit Kala Campus. Utilising that degree, he wants to establish an art institution in the future.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram (20)
Artist Doyal explains his paintings to the viewers. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya

During the process of creating, Suresh Kumar Dyola has gone through various transformations and the meditation of Lord Shiva has helped him envision the scenes from the book and paint them.

He had not thought about the exhibition in the beginning. Rather, he was interested in creating a masterpiece with Lord Shiva as his major motif.

“I used poster colours in the beginning as I was eager to complete my painting. So later I found that paintings created using poster colours do not have durability, so I switched to acrylic colours. Then, as I completed one after another painting, I envisioned an exhibition,” says Dyola.

Even before his first and second solo painting exhibitions, he had begun his work for this exhibition, Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

Solace and penance

Thanks to his tantric background, Suresh Kumar Dyola’s paintings possess a sense of solace and penance blended with colour, character and composition. The artworks are able to create harmony, which leads to ecstasy in the spectators.

Hues like orange and blue dominate his paintings. Most of his characters are in action and using different shades of light to dramatise the scene has made all of his paintings exceptional and unique.  

Satyam Shivam Sundaram
The painting depicts a fight between Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesh. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya

In one of his paintings, he depicts the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This is his favourite painting and this also marked the end of his creation for this exhibition. In the painting, the wedding ceremony is set inside the palace and the details of the interiors are awesome and grand. The pillars, balconies, chandeliers, curtains, floor and arrangement of characters simply give a depth while watching it. Then, the shed and light effects used in the painting have simply given clarity and perception, which makes it a masterpiece.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram
A painting on display depicting the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Photo: Nasana Bajracharya

Suresh Kumar Dyola says art is a subject to understand himself. “Art helped me to find myself and I believe whatever an artist discovers during their lifetime, they portray the same in their canvas because art is the reflection of the artist themselves. Till the time when one does not have a medium to understand oneself, there is only destruction. Therefore, art for me is a medium to know myself.”

Yes, the artworks by Suresh Kumar Dyola let you know how he lived two lives of a tantric practitioner and an artist together.

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Shrestha is a senior sub-editor at Onlinekhabar. Contact her at [email protected]

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