Once a city frog visited the countryside.
He was amazed at the many kinds of animals roaming freely. And he was especially impressed with the imposing size of the cow.
When he came across his country cousin who lived inside a deep, dark well, he said: You cannot imagine the size of the animal I saw today.
His cousin smiled and asked.
How big an animal was it?
The city frog puffed out his chest:
It was thi-i-i-i-is big!
How big?the country frog asked again.
The City Frog puffed himself up even more.
No-o-oh ! exclaimed the country frog. Are you sure?
And the city frog – trying to impress his country cousin even in his own familiar territory – puffed himself up more and more until he finally
An old Tibetan twist to The City Frog and the Country Frog.
Why we love MZN Shrawan’s Sculptures.
It was a good friend who introduced us MZN Shrawan. He is my brother – and he does sculptures.
After working with art in Nepal for more than 6 years we feel we know most of the local artists. But maybe it was because we were in Europe and our minds were far from Kathmandu at the time that no bells were ringing…?
Does our friend have a brother that does art?
Since MZN Shrawan’s was our friend’s brother the least we could do was to check out his works. So we went to his home in Swayambhu and saw his small intriguing sculptures.
Frogs? Or humans?
It turned out that MZN Shrawan hadn’t been in town… he had been studying art at the university in Varanasi in India which explained why we haven’t heard about him.
We fell immediately in love with the art we saw.
On one side Shrawan’s sculptures are true to the Nepalese and Buddhist traditions, cultures & legends.
On the other his art represents exactly what we have been searching for in our 7 years in Nepal – not frogs and not sculptures 😉 – but art that is completely out of the box. Art that surprises and challenges you and yet loyal to the artist’s culture.
And most important, art that makes us as spectators STOP and think & wonder: Is this a joke? Is the artist serious? What does he or she want to tell?
Are the frogs his comment to the current state of the country? Or does he want to create new characters for Marvel Comics?
Shrawan works mainly in brass and he does sculptures of frogs – not humans.
We don’t know why -but Shrawan’s art somehow reminds us of the small bronze sculptures by French impressionist Degas & Gauguin’s sculptures – or even some of French modernist Rodin’s works – artists we have grown up with through Brewer Jacobsen’s collection at Glyptoteket in Copenhagen.
Does Shrawan know about the French impressionist’s sculptures at all?
Unlike a lot of other artists we have seen, we feel that Shrawan’s art is honest and not pretentious at all.
But IF he knows about the French school his Frogs are a fantastic humorous paraphrase which just adds one extra layer to his art. Still if he doesn’t it gives you something to think about…. are there spiritual or karmic connections between us?
We haven’t discussed all this with Shrawan. And we don’t know why he has disguised humans as frogs & frogs as humans.
But we will.
Until then – remember the legends.
Annette & Thomas
Lisbon 28. March 2016
On 22 April we open our first exhibition with sculptures only: Follow The Frogs by MZN Shrawan.
Follow updates about the opening and interviews with the artist and the frogs here.
See the sculptures & prices here