Artist SC Suman came to Kathmandu four decades ago and the first site he went to see was the Pashupatinath Temple. There were more monkeys and more trees, he recalls. And less people. Everything looked orderly and beautiful.
In Suman’s new exhibition Mithila Cosmos: Songs of Innocence & Experience, this image of Pashupatinath is complemented by another painting of the temple as it stands now. This diptych, along with another displaying Kirtipur then and now, is the highlight of the show. ‘Pashupati Then’ naturally looks more peaceful, with colourful trees and fewer human figures. There are three monkey-like figures in this piece, the artist’s reference to the pictorial maxim The Three Monkeys, embodying the proverbial principle ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.’