In his works Kathmandu-based Urban Artist Aditya Aryal aka Sadhu-X examines different perspectives on diverse and often subliminal realities. These Dionysian visions can find their materialisation as portraits, characters and calligraphy in different media and contexts, as well on the street as on canvas and found objects. His pieces stand out with their unique fusion of contemporary global, urban topics and strong influences of traditional imagery referring to the social and religious setting of his home country Nepal.
After executing his first stencil on the street in 2010 and getting well known with this technique, Aryal has explored different varieties from spraying, wheatpastes and stickers to sculptures and installations to acrylic or oil paintings on canvas and found objects like traditional Nepalese windows and street advertisements. His strength lies in the diversity of his portfolio and the ability to master the possibilities different media have to offer for the content he is planning to execute. Hereby the choice within the scope of different media follows strongly the concept.
The characteristics of Aryal’s pieces are a striking and bright colour palette, which is often referring to his personal state of mind and emotional status quo, hypnotising geometrical patterns, strong influences from both comics or cartoons and traditional iconography in connection with disproportioned bodies and forms in psychedelic realities. Aryal’s characters, which still show resemblances to motifs of deities, have been going through the artist’s transformation in order to tell different stories and uncover their potential representation of feelings and emotions. The artist came to the conclusion that re-interpreting traditional imagery with different expressions could lead to new perspectives and possibilities of reflecting one’s own perception of different realities and their consequences. As society and religion constructed ideas of emotions, which have been reproduced through time individually and therefore been given a long lasting stronghold, Aryal believes, that any transformation of those categories could lead to new visions of seeing and connecting with oneself. On the way of searching himself through his creations, the artist uses repetitive elements like phallus symbols, skulls and Mudras and gives each detail, similar to the tradition in Thanka, an equally meaningful position in the whole composition. These references, which are often combined with urban and countercultural elements in order to challenge existing religious dogmata and question social morality, play an important role for the artist’s position and the deconstruction of his own identity. This approach finally leads to infinite possibilities of self-definition and creative production.
Facing the context of Nepal and the lack of basic materials and working supplies, Aryal is engaging strongly in finding alternatives and possibilities to compete in the international field: His participation in worldwide residency programs like the Millerntor Gallery in Hamburg and St+ART India, multiple and regular commissions for international clients and exhibitions in New York, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London and Nantes confirm the success of this endeavour. Aryal is not only engaging in his own career, but furthermore offers strong support to young Nepalese artists and the local creative offspring: He co-founded the successful independent, non profit art project Kaalo.101 in 2017 and has organised festivals like Micro Galleries, which involved 60 both uprising talents and international known artists.
Born in Kathmandu, Nepal
Bachelor in Fine Arts from Kathmandu University, Center for Art and Design
2011 – 2014
Founding member & Creative Head of ArtLab Collective
Residency in Europe