An artist never gifts disappointment through his story. Unless it’s sour, the story doesn’t get interesting and unless life’s not inspiring, the story is no good. After all, life is all about stories and unless you don’t have an interesting story to tell, life is desolate. Presenting one such story of a dreamer, Bimal Bolakhe alias Bodhi Bimal who paints bare walls to beauty through line arts.
Many a time an artist takes inspiration from some medium of feeling that sparkles in him/her. When it comes to Bimal’s inspiration, he credits the surrounding being a notable aspect of life to become an artist. Nature and surrounding adjacent to him have been his trusted friend till date.
Bimal was interested in art since his school days. He used the Internet as a resource to get introduced to line art. Since then, he took his time to research and experiment with line art. He cites Gustav Klimt’s art revolution impact his artistry to a new level.
After Bimal completed his school, he paused his further studies. The gap of six years led him to utilize the platform of Khan Academy to learn about line art and its techniques. He adds, “Khan Academy was the sole platform for me to gain all the necessary knowledge about art.”
After six years, he stepped into the academic world of arts and currently he is a student of Shrijana College of Fine Arts. Raising stakes towards the monotonous system of art curriculum in Nepal he shares, “I despise the way how our curriculum is shaped. We are not taught to become unique and I don’t see myself standing in the mass of artists who create same art.” However, he does feel he has gained insights into many fundamental rules he had missed out on self-tutoring himself.
Through his line series, he intends to unravel deep meaning the line series holds. His line art is a simple explanation of his experiences. “In line art I have 12 series done and among them, Bodhi art is the most famous one. People say this art reciprocates their life and touches them.”
Bodhi art has become an inspiration and an indelible part of Bimal’s life. For Bimal, Bodhi art speaks about the necessities and desires of the world. Among his numerous works, Bodhi Series has been Bimal’s notable work.
He tries to evoke the ethos of human life cycle through Bodhi art. Very precise on defining what his art is about, he says “Bodhi series has defined life’s cycle in ‘Soch’, ‘Khoj’, ‘Moj’, and ‘Sunyata’. Each of these four parts has a different story to tell.”
As per Bimal, ‘Soch’ is the key to start everything in life. It is a belief. The search for understanding the ‘Soch’ leads to ‘Khoj’. The quench of ‘Khoj’ leads to ‘Moj’ i.e. infinite happiness paves the way when the individual passes through the hard way of ‘Soch’ and ‘Khoj’. After ‘Moj’ there comes a time when everything comes to an end. After ‘Soch’ dies, everything dies and ‘Sunyata’ becomes the last phase. Bimal says, “Sunyata is the last stage and it signifies disappearance of the Soch. This life cycle of ‘Soch’ to ‘Sunyata’ is a definition of the ever-evolving and infinite cycle of the being.”
Bimal’s love for art vividly unravels as he goes back to remember himself as an enthusiastic fourth-grade boy of Bhutandevi Higher Secondary School. “Back then, I had won the third prize in Jillashikshya Chitrakala Pradarshani. My painting held a small house, a tree, and a bird.”
Bimal has a clear idea of what he is doing, i.e. he has a pristine optimism to his ideality in line and calligraphic art. Sometimes, this ideality in art becomes a subject of criticism. Bimal adds, “My work is different. This difference has let many people take me as an artist who wants to gain popularity through easy work. In comparison to others, I may get fewer works, but I believe my hard work will help me establish my own style of calligraphy and line art.”
Till date, the artist has brushed more than 50 walls of Chappalkarkhana, Jhamsikhel, and Balkhu. He knows not how many paintings have been brushed off from these walls but he believes his willpower and perseverance will lead him to do an identity someday.
The artist who aligns a preferable inclination to wall art mentions, “The art of canvas placed in a gallery is an access to only a few. A wall is a place for people who long freedom. I feel a sense of freedom in wall art and it doesn’t concrete me within a space. Wall is a canvas of the public.”
Bimal envisions himself to be a ‘Kala Yatri’ in the near future and there’s nothing but creating unique art in his mind. Giving fair share of credit and gratefulness to Ujjwal Thapa, Bimal mentions about a time when he had thought of quitting his passion due to hindering financial conditions. He credits Thapa and his other friends like Souvidhya, Manoj as an inspiration who held him up through the struggles and made him realize the potentials he had.
If he has to give one message for people through his voice he mentions, “Coming out from our personal sphere, being a Nepalese we should realize that through collective efforts we should be able to spread knowledge about our family’s inspiration, school’s quality education, society’s background, a bit of luck and numerous opportunities to many Nepalese.”
Bimal Bolakhe loves what he does. His inclination towards learning, ardent love for art and strong determination in adorning the dead walls with his Bodhi art are the vivid mark of positivity to many of us.
Kudos to the ‘Kala yatri Bimal Bolakhe’! What an inspiration Bodhi Bimal!
By: Kabita Sen