Ragini's Press File


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Incomplete Self, 1988

"The early prints of Ragini have an air of romanticism, in which mostly sad, lonely female faces figure, expressing emotions that are simple but direct and authentic. Themes related to the complexities of modern life and socio-political concern have been treated in recent prints.

In prints and paintings, Ragini's images are drawn from both secular and mythological sources, the latter from Hindu and Buddhist myths. Often her images are filled with symbolical meaning.

Being a female artist, her works show that she is deeply engaged with searching for her female identities. "

Irmgard Hettich Sherchan for the Exhibition at the Goethe Institute - Kathmandu (1990)


Berlin 1989 (1), 1990

"Her symbolism reminding sometimes Chagall, Ragini's work seems to be of international modernity. However her work lives in the depth of her personal emotions. Those are born by an intelligent mind living the tension of a society stepping from a traditional background into the challenges of modern generation.

Klaus Schröder for the Exhibition at the Goethe Institute - Kathmandu (1990)


Noses, 1989

"In der Heimat die Form zerbrechen

In ihren Bildern leben Buddha und Kumari, die jungfräuliche Menschengöttin. Dennoch zählt die Nepalisen Ragini Upadhayay keineswegs zu den traditionellen Künstlern ihres Heimatlandes. Ihre Gemälde und Drucke, die im Goethe-Institut in der Hedderichstraße gezeigt werden, sind lyrish und expressiv, harmonish und kontrastierend, tradionsbewußt und avantgardistish zugleich. In kräftigen, manchmal aggressiven Farbkombinationen schälen sich die Motive ofterst auf den zweiten Bick aus dem Hintergrund. Der Weg zur Abstraktion deuted sich in den jüngeren Arbeiten immer stärker an.

[Meine Farben sind die Farben unserer Feste], sagt die 30 Jahre alte Künstlerin. Aber sie gestaltet nicht nur volkstünnliche Themen. In vitalen Rot, Gelb und Grün greift sie Themen auf, die für Nepal ungewönlich sind : Ragini bildet Gefühle, Träume und zwischenmenshliche Situationen ab. "

Janet Schayan in der Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (18 April 1990)


Click on the picture to enlarge it  Love Letters 1992

"Ragini's canvas release a certain energy not only through the bold colors but also through the motifs that demand forceful emotional outlets. In the unique conglomeration of images around the Swayambhu monastery a drama of revelry unfolds creating a situation of tension between war and the beleaguered peace. In this melee we see the desperate couples, a child and a bird of peace stuck on the fringe of the canvas compelling the viewer to divert their eyes from the center toward them.

Ragini's sense of cheerfulness is not platitude. She views the irony inherent in the human culture by using the female herself as an object of satire. A Japanese woman is used to present the Japanese vanity, a Nepali woman full of ornaments and wearing a haughty look, which Ragini claims she knows by birth, is presented to ridicule the Nepali society. Women's fantasy are their own traps. In abstract structures a Nepali woman's mind is presented through semiotic features and color iconicity. A red Tika of a Nepali woman speaks volumes. The exuberant color combination, to quote Ragini herself, is a language that she used to record her own mood at the turning point of her life.

These canvases represent her compromise with happiness, love, sense of hope and a predominantly male cultural structuralism with a certain reservation and this reservation appears to me to be her energy that will take her forward. "

Abhi Subedi for the Exhibition at the British Council - Kathmandu (1992)


At home, 1989

"Nous pensons que Ragini atteint dans ses gravures une grande qualité d'expression, en particulier dans l'utilisation des plages sombres. Elle emploie un symbolisme hérité de sa culture mais elle amène le visiteur à le déchiffrer par lui-même, en fonction de son expérience et inconscient personnels. En cela, elle est un trait d'union entre les civilisations d'Orient et d'Occident.

Albert Moxhet in  Le Jour - Le Courrier (Belgique, 22 mai 1992).
Politics, dust and love, 1993  

Ragini’s « Politics, Dust and Love » art exhibition is rooted in the socio-politics of her time. Bringing out the day to day conflicts and the tussles for survival in this early sphere. On the other hand, there is also harmony and love hidden amongst the evils of society.

Politics, love and dust form the very wheel of life. Politics was always present in this world. Ragini sees dust as the toping of politics, hypocrisy, selfishness, jealousy etc. Love is harmony, the spiritual ray of hope of peaceful co-existence. This turns lustful and lascivious when evil starts dominating. The Good is always struggling to exist with the Evil. Ravana, a king of the Ramayana epic, is portrayed as an evil. It existed then and is present today and will remain for the future.

Communists and Congress party workers with daggers drawn are shown as the charging bulls. The barking dogs depict the call of Yamraj (God of Death) brought in by the violence of the political frictions.

The tears that roll down from Swayambunath’s eyes, saddened by the human affairs, depict the silent observer.

Priyabika Lauti, Spotlight January 14, 1994 (Kathmandu)

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