Govinda Sah 'Azad', image copyrights Jonathan Greet, 2014

Govinda Sah Azad /   Govinda Prasad Sah

Nepal 1974


Govinda Sah Azad
Govinda Prasad Sah
May 9, 2016

Transforming the artist’s ordinary tools into and extraordinary work of art, Govinda Sah Azad creates powerful depictions of clouds that represent symbols of spiritual power and terrible consequences of the climate changes. Having the psychological review, the clouds are the metaphor of infinite and never achieved human desires, but also, the represents of nature which is more powerful than any religion. Emphasizing the oxygen as the most needed thing he determined the nature as the only thing he believes in. Seeing the clouds as universality, Azad calls them emotions of the sky.

Govinda Sah Azad - Wondering Cloud, 2016 (Left) - Reflection, 2016 (Right)
Govinda Sah Azad – Wondering Cloud, 2016 (Left) / Reflection, 2016 (Right)

Azad – the Free Spirit

Azad was born in Nepal and from his early childhood, he was interested in drawing and sculpture. Unfortunately, his parents couldn’t accept his artistic desires and he head to leave his home at the age of 16. Living in a poverty as one of six children, he has even suffered beatings from his parents who wanted to distract him from drawing. Still, he was so persistent that they named him “Azad” which means his free spirit. The acquaintance with established Nepalese artist KG Ranjit who inspired him to enter the art school at the Tribhuvan University, changed his life. His first choice were landscapes and he was spending hours painting outdoors.

His first choice were landscapes

Govinda Sah Azad - In Between, 2015 (Left) - Nothing All Matter, 2016 (Right)
Govinda Sah Azad – In Between, 2015 (Left) / Nothing All Matter, 2016 (Right)

The Craving for Experimental Work

During his summer vacations, Azad traveled Nepal by bicycle, painting in front of the crowds, organizing exhibitions of local artists and teaching art at schools, with the aim to spread artistic ideas to the people who lives in rural areas. After the graduation, he finished his MA in Dhaka, Bangladesh and then decided to try his luck in London. Unsatisfied and limited with the traditional approach which excepted only still life, portraiture and landscape painted as realistically as possible, Azad’s expression craved for experimental work. England helped him to expand the horizons, and move in a new direction, using new techniques as pasting newspaper snippets or cutting holes in canvases.

Azad’s expression craved for experimental techniques

Govinda Sah Azad - The Soul-Eternal-Infinity, 2015 (Left) - Tactile Universe, 2016 (Right)
Govinda Sah Azad – The Soul-Eternal-Infinity, 2015 (Left) / Tactile Universe, 2016 (Right)

The Clouds are Emotions of the Nature

Azad’s powerful imagination has been focused on Hindu deities, temples and sacred landscapes before the clouds took the primary importance as the symbol of heaven. Aiming to show the connection between nature and spirituality, his clouds provoke people to ask what they can do to support the nature. Azad’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, in Nepal and internationally. He participated in many workshops under the sponsorship of the UN and Bangladesh Embassy in Nepal.

Featured image: Govinda Sah Azad, image copyrights Jonathan Greet, 2014
All images courtesy of October Gallery

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
201435 Years of Transvangarde: Contemporary art from around the planet October Gallery, LondonGroup
2014Art14 October Gallery (London), LondonGroup
2013Lightness of Being October Gallery, LondonSolo
2013The Universe Within Tibet House, New YorkSolo
2013Art Dubai October Gallery (London), DubaiGroup
2013Art13 October Gallery (London), LondonGroup
2012Shristi-Chakra (Wheel of Creation) Art Konsult, New Delhi, IndiaSolo
2012Emotion in Motion Siddhartha Gallery, Kathmandu, NepalSolo
2012Abu Dhabi Art October Gallery (London), DubaiGroup
2012244th Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, LondonGroup
2012Space for Mind: Space for Art The Spring Projects, LondonGroup
2011Visionen über dem Dach der Welt Kunst am Spalenberg Gallery, Basel, Switzerland Solo
2011Transcriptions October Gallery, LondonSolo
2011No Edge No Centre The Muse Gallery, LondonSolo
2011Pighalta Satya (Melting Truth) Global GallerySolo
2011Govinda Sah AzadReading International Solidarity Centre (RISC), ReadingSolo
2011Abu Dhabi Art with October GalleryGroup
2011Sky Lab Stephen Mclaughlan Gallery, Melbourne, AustraliaGroup
2011Contemporary Art from Himalayan CountriesTam Gallery, Tallinn, EstoniaGroup
2011Transvangarde Now October Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Inspired by Morris William Morris Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Land Without Map Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, LondonGroup
2010Himalayan Festival Nehru Centre, Mayfair, LondonGroup
2010Independents Liverpool BiennialLiverpool Centre for Fine Arts, LiverpoolGroup
2009Unfold Invention Siddhartha Gallery, Kathmandu, NepalSolo
2009Meditating the Abstract Asia House, LondonSolo
2009Separating Myth from Reality: State of WomenInternational Art Festival, Kathmandu, NepalGroup
2009Apocalypse Now Red Wire, LiverpoolGroup
2009The Cloud, Saltburn Artists’ Projects Saltburn-by-the-SeaGroup
2008Open Door 108, The Royal Over-Seas League In collaboration with Siddhartha Art Gallery & Kathmandu Contemporary Art Centre, LondonGroup
2007Funds for Pasang Lhamu and Nicole Niquelle Hospital Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2006Ashaka Khambaharu (Pillars of Hope) Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal Solo
2006Colours of Peace Singha Art Gallery, Lalitpur, NepalSolo
2006Khula Dhoka 108 (Open Door 108) Siddhartha Art Gallery, in collaboration with Kathmandu Contemporary Art CentreGroup
2006Bangladesh-Nepal Exchange Programme and Exhibition (organiser and participating artist) Bangladesh National Museum, Dhaka, BangladeshGroup
2005International Art Exhibition Park Art Gallery, Kathmandu, NepalGroup
2005Beppu Asia Biennale of Contemporary Art Beppu Art Museum, Beppu, JapanGroup
2004Peace through Painting National Art GallerySolo
2004Govinda Sah AzadShilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh Solo
2004Pioneer Personality of Saptari Library Lakhnath, Rajbiraj, NepalSolo
2004Conflict of Peace in Nepal Basantpur Durbar Square, NepalSolo
2003Painting for Peace British Council, Kathmandu, NepalSolo
2002The 21st Century is the Century of Art and PeaceNehru Center, Mumbai, IndiaSolo
2001Colour of Nature Nepal Art Council Gallery, Kathmandu, NepalSolo
200121st Century is the Century of Art and Peace, Nationwide Art Campaign for PeaceBhojan Griha, Kathmandu, NepalSolo
2000MA Degree Show Wimbledon College of Art, LondonGroup
1999Bhojan Griha Kathmandu, Nepal Solo
1999Govinda Sah Azad Explore Nepal Group, Bhojan Griha, Kathmandu, NepalSolo
1997National Art Exhibition Academy of Fine Art, Kathmandu, NepalGroup
1996National Art Exhibition Academy of Fine Art, Kathmandu, NepalGroup