Born in 1985, Uddab has had a very varied and colourful career since he left school, with periods in regular employment and as a professional artist. Uddab’s family were originally farmers in the Nuwakot area before moving to Kathmandu.
Following school, Uddab studied at the Lalit Kala Fine Arts campus but then had a spell working in an animation studio on the digital backgrounds for the productions. He later worked as a teacher at the Lalit Kala campus for four years after taking a Master’s degree in Creative Arts at Tribhuvan University. He also studied the more traditional side of today’s art, delving into the religious iconography of the country.
Today, as a professional artist for the last five years, Uddab has developed a very passionate interest in the socio-political scenario, with modern societal issues to the forefront in his subject matter. His work is very much linked to the great social debates of the day and is expressed in a thoughtful, modern and contemporary style that is completely his own.
His paintings are both thought-provoking and inspiring, the vivid acrylic colours accentuating the imagery. One of his series delves deep into the psychology of relationships between man and woman, where the traditional roles create tensions that are not easily aired in public, especially in Nepal. Uddab also links such social issues to the great power of the ruling cliques across the world, whether from east or west, or between political rivals and great powers. It is, as he portrays so succinctly in his art, always the people who suffer the privations of the powerful elements.
Some of Uddab’s art is quite provocative, some might even say shocking, but perhaps this displays a message not easily brushed aside. Long-discussed issues like inter-caste marriage, female subjugation through traditions, ethnic rivalries, clash of tradition and modernity – such subjects are fully explored in much of Uddab’s work.
Uddab has painted a series which he nominally calls self-portraits, but these images have a deeper story to tell. The theme is loosely about ‘What am I?’ The painting ‘Upside-down Man’ (above) balances the human turmoil that defines the outer façade with an inner awareness that is liable to be contradictory.
The paintings try to illustrate the conflict between the norms that define the outward social character versus the human inner side.
Uddab recently took time out from painting before continuing with renewed passion with a new picture called ‘Pomegranate’, which follows on much from earlier themes. His paintings have been purchased by overseas collectors and displayed in various countries, including Denmark and the USA. In future Uddab will continue to work on images that are linked to the modern conundrums of a changing society, and how political changes relate to such issues.
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