Pushparaj is a Rung, and his public projects celebrate his people. Living their traditional life centered on the cycle of seasons and traditions, the Rung have thrived as herders and traders in the far northwestern Nepal, straddling the borders of Tibet and India. His deep sense of community comes from a photography project in his formative years in Nepal. An interest in photography started with his search for pictures of his grandparents, whom he had never seen. This led him to take pictures of people and life in his close-knit community, which gradually turned into his primary passion in life. He now revels in documenting ceremonies, celebrations, pleasures, and perseverations, with the hope that he can facilitate this way of life even for future generations.  The close-knit Rung community lives in three valleys comprised of villages of around twenty to one hundred families that live in the Himalayan villages in the summer and travel to homes further south, since winters are too harsh for herding livestock. The winter months are spent spinning and weaving carpets, sweaters, and other woollen products, which are  traded in other parts of Nepal and India. Despite relying entirely on the oral tradition, these customs have survived into the 21st century, but the technology of the world is reaching into this isolated area of the Himalayas and, as with all surviving traditional cultures, the language and traditions are in danger of being lost. There is a need to commemorate the continuing fertility of the land, and the traditions and other activities of Rung life. Pushparaj’s public projects are an attempt to do just that by capturing the faces, lifestyle and culture of the region in its natural form and documenting them so that they are available for future generations and is not lost with time.

Back to Top