Born in 1975, he was soon immersed in the local arts, thangkas, cultural themes and even traditional drum music. Raj Prakash never attended any formal college studies, but learnt his skills through some of the best teachers of paubha in Nepal. Prem Man Chitrakar was his main mentor, when he was just 16 years old. Until around 1987 (35 years ago) only the Chitrakar caste was allowed to teach the art of paubha painting. Now that has changed, and with those new ideas came the flourishing and diverse paubha art scene of today, where tradition and modernism meet in an amazing cacophony of colours and creative designs.
Raj Prakash has become well-known for his blend of striking figures and richly coloured paubha paintings, which adhere to the strict guidelines set for paubha, while also allowing the artist to put their unique signature style on the painting. His artworks were originally more attractive to foreign collectors, as the local audience was formerly less daring, but over the years the domestic art scene has seen an amazing growth and diversity. Today Raj Prakash seeks to bring Nepalese art to a wider clientele; this has become an over-riding passion, almost as great as his enthusiasm for his country’s traditional art.
He sells most of his work through galleries, collections and his connections abroad. He singles out the help he has had from Robert Beer in the UK, but today his art can be found as much in China as across the west. When requested Raj Prakash can produce paubha paintings for sacred and religious purposes, and in those cases he will stick rigidly to the centuries-old strict traditions that the artists must follow while painting. Although paubha is his overwhelming passion, he will experiment with any other art form like landscape or portrait, but this is normally on a commission or request basis.
Raj Prakash firmly believes today that “We should appreciate our children’s innate artistic desires and nurture them to follow their dreams.” He also intimates that before the Museum of Nepali Art (MoNA) was opened, much of his art was produced with a view to earning a living as well as for personal pleasure. He believes this museum has generated a greater awareness of the domestic art scene.