Every once-in-a-while an artist comes along whose artwork is so stunning that even an artist novice like myself wants to own it, its beauty is so captivating. Such is the artwork of Sujan Tamang of Nepal. Born in poverty in Nepal, the home of the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, Sujan didn’t even have clothes, and went to school naked until the age of 18. I know this is hard to believe, since most of us are used to a higher standard of living, but such is the plight of many Nepalese. Sujan’s poverty made him even more determined to work hard in the village fields of Nepal and to further his education. From an early age he liked to draw and paint. In Nepal, art is a major course of study.
Enter Ernie Schiller of Donnellson. Schiller is a well-known educator, businessman and politician. Now retired, on a trip to India and Nepal he stumbled across Sujan Tamang and his beautiful artwork. As though called by Sirens, Schiller knew he had to get Sujan’s artwork to the United States and he did. Without Sujan’s presence, except via Internet Video Conference, there was a successful exhibition of his artwork in Ft. Madison last fall and 100 percent of all sales went directly to the Nepalese for food, education and healthcare.
Sujan’s artwork is quite affordable and under priced. What typically sells for $300 at most art galleries, is less than $100. To date I have snapped up six of Sujan’s masterpieces. I even commissioned Sujan, through Facebook, to paint a particular scene — a “Cloud Avalanche” rolling down between two mountains in Nepal. That painting, “The Last Snowfall” is being used on the poster for “Climate Change Awareness in the Himalayan Region.”
A second exhibition is now underway at the Artisan Sanctuary, 1239 First Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. Sujan’s artwork will be on display and for sale through August and early September. Once again, 100 percent of all proceeds go to Nepal.
Sujan Tamang is 35 and has completed his BFA in art at Kathmandu. He has worked as an art teacher at the Blooming Scholar Academy, Maddala International School, Shiddhartha Academy, Neelgiri School, Oxford School, Madan Bhandari School Boudha, Manasalu Public School Nayabazer and Bright School Nayabazer.
His artwork has been exhibited in France, England, Australia, Ireland, Korea, Turkey and now the United States.
He received a first place prize in the National Color Competition in Saptahik Patrika in 1998; first place in Inter-College Art Competition in 2008; first place in Best Artist by Patam Smriti Pratisthan in 2008. He was awarded certificates in International Watercolor Festivals in 2015 and 2016, and was selected for International Watercolor Art Contest organized by the IWS Uniglobal Contest in Turkey in 2019. Sujan has also been an artist judge for the Interschool Art Competition in 2013.
A bodybuilder at one time, he is married and has a son.
Painting mostly with watercolor, Sujan’s wet-on-wet technique reminds people of SE Iowa’s and Des Moines’ artist Wendell Mohr. Scenes of landscape, mountains, people and farming are typical subjects of Sujan’s. His paintings can evoke strong emotions.
In 2015, an earthquake of 8.7 on the Richter Scale rocked Nepal. 9,000 people were killed instantly. Several thousand were never found. The Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation was formed. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations can be made at www.rebuildnepaleducation.org. As before, 100 percent of all donations go to Nepal. You can also email Ernie Schiller at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send you an online auction site where you can enjoy Sujan’s artwork and make a purchase.
Although Sujan Tamang’s artwork is here in the United States, the only thing missing is Sujan. It is hoped he can visit the U.S. soon and be present at his art exhibitions. In the meantime, he can be found on YouTube giving art lessons.
Contact Curt Swarm at email@example.com