Birendra Prataph Singh: Behind the Himalayan Smile


  • Andrea de la Rubia Universidad Complutense de MadridGrupo de Investigación I+D TRAMA


Birendra Prataph began painting in the 70s, at a time when Nepal was still in the process of waking up to the shock of modernity. The country, which had been isolated for a hundred years (1850-1950), was suddenly immersed in a speed process of modernisation. Birendra´s career encompassed basically all the creative tendencies usually focused on the ​​"Nepaliness" idea and its national representation, in accordance with the policy of the Panchayat system. It is through the analysis of his artworks that this article reviews the most recent Nepalese art history, introducing its different movements and the local artists who led them. It is based on the hypothesis that despite the patriotic suitability of these paintings, they must also be analyzed from the perspective of the Nepalese irony. For it is by using satire that the artists of Birendra's generation reveal the political, ecological, and social reality of the Himalayan country in the contemporary times.


Modern Art, Himalaya, Cultural heritage, Panchayat, Nepaliness, Irony, Pollution


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Author Biography

Andrea de la Rubia, Universidad Complutense de MadridGrupo de Investigación I+D TRAMA

ANDREA DE LA RUBIA has a PhD in History of Art from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), thanks to a university training grant (FPU-MEC) 2014-2018. She has specialized in Himalayan art and culture and was a guest researcher at the Kathmandu University School of Art and Design (KUART) in 2015,  and the research centre Social Science Baha (SSB) in Katmandu in 2017. She is a member of the research group TRAMA.   Andrea has taught in the Department of History of Art in the UCM and in a course for Experts in Indian and Eastern Asian Art.  Recently she completed postdoctoral research in the  Presidency University, School of Design in Bangalore. She is currently a substitute lecturer in the Department of Design in the  Universidad de Granada (UGR).




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