> Even though the whole world is burning

The passage of time and what remains…

Priyanka Singh Maharjan, Nepal

Our memories are the foundation of who we are today. They are layers of information, each level imparting different bits of details crucial to one’s consciousness. These pieces of information come to the surface and sometimes slowly fade away.

Memory however can be very selective; some memories are strong, vibrant, easily influenced by external factors whereas some are just buried in our subconscious. The principles of these and of crucial importance in helping one to remember the past are the old family photographs that occupy everyone’s home. I often go through old photographs at my home to question myself how much I remember and what I have missed along the way.

I have often worked on memories. The inspiration behind my work is how connected I feel to my past, my home and needing to explore those intangible memories to give a visual form. Photographs are the physical reminder of our memories and the reproductive material. Making patterns on those physical memories, the output no longer becomes reproductive but a visual representation of the memory and attachments one have with them.

I sew on the transfer images of old photographs by hand. Embroidering makes me feel connected to home and often home is where one’s memory is deeply rooted to. With every line I sew, needing to work continuously and repeatedly with infinite profusion of details has been a personal journey, unashamedly autobiographical. I embroider the certain parts of a photograph that triggers my memories, whether it is the space I am most familiar with, or the object I was personally connected to, or the certain moments long gone that I would like to relive through. And I portray them through the use of lively colors. I use lively colors selected from the old photograph itself to express how colors have always been an imperative part of my life and when I recall some part of my past, the colors of certain space, people, patterns or even moments become vibrant.


Priyanka Singh Maharjan is a Kathmandu based Visual Artist and an Art Facilitator. She completed her Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Kathmandu University, Centre for Art and Design in 2018. Her art practices are mostly focused on her past and re-interpretation of memories through diverse mediums. She is currently exploring on how to give visual structure to intangible but real elements of her past through photographs and embroidery. She has participated in many group exhibitions including National Exhibitions in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she had her works showcased in Kochi Student Biennale, which is the part of prestigious Kochi Biennale, Kerala, India. Besides that, she is working as an art facilitator in Srijanalaya, a non-profit organization dedicated to alternative forms of art education in Nepal.