Youdhisthir Maharjan – Henniker, New Hampshire

The Center of Everything Reclaimed text cutouts   2014 9”X6”

The Center of Everything
Reclaimed text cutouts
2014, 9”X6”

Briefly describe the work you do.

I work with found materials and reclaimed text, engaging in laboriously repetitive and autopoietic processes, to create a new language that transcends their humble origin and takes a new life of its own, independent of its prescribed meaning and form; inquiring the intersection of identity and anonymity, individual and collective, familiar and alien; exploring the materiality of text; and reasserting the thingness of language. 

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

 I grew up in military school in Bhaktapur city, Nepal, one of the three richest cities of Kathmandu valley, for art and architecture and myths, founded on Hindhu and Buddhist philosophies. My exposure to military discipline since my early childhood, and laboriously intricate, sacred Thangka and Mandala paintings, mass produced for sale in factory setting, has strong influence on my inclination toward spirituality, exploration of solitude and God, anonymity and individuality, and the power of repetition (meditation/prayer) and labor. 

Peace Like a River Reclaimed text cutouts   2014 45”X6”X3”

Peace Like a River
Reclaimed text cutouts
2014, 45”X6”X3”

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

Although the concept of my works demand me to work in solitude, my interest is in the solitude of the self, unaffected and unaltered by the pandemonium of outside environment. I do not have specific studio space since my grad school. I work in my living room or on my porch—at peace—with cooking and television and music and neighbors’ children playing, sometimes all at the same time. My outdoor and on-site installations take days and “studio” environment beyond my control, but I always feel in the studio as long as I have solitude inside of me. 

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

My effort in using printmaking techniques beyond their traditional confines into making mural sized unique prints that borders painting, sculpture, and installation. 

My life-long, process based, conceptual works using recycled materials. 

My altered text series that questions language and meaning beyond their preassigned definitions. 

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

I mostly work on new ideas and revaluation of ongoing works at the quietude of night. My mornings are dedicated to reading, research, and surfing internet. I spend my days on installation works (indoor and outdoor), and collecting, cleaning, and sorting recycled materials.  

Crossing the Border Reclaimed text cutouts   2014 9”X6”

Crossing the Border
Reclaimed text cutouts
2014, 9”X6”

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

My works have grown from precomposed and finished easel paintings with preassigned meanings/messages into process oriented works without prescribed meaning and composition, without any beginning or an end. The process is an end in itself, and not a mean to some preconceived end. The change in my living situation has also changed in the choices of my mediums and materials. 

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot, and Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, have had great influence in my life and the works I produce.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I would have been a medical doctor. Thats what my parents wanted me to be and I was preparing for it before I decided to go into arts.  

headshotAbout

Click here to download resume

youdhi.tumblr.com

 

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.  

 

 

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About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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