Pushparaj is a Rung, and his public projects celebrate his people. Living their traditional life centered on the cycle of the 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, who he had never seen. This led him to take pictures of people and life in his close-knit community, which gradually turned into the passion in life so that the ceremonies and celebrations, work and joys, will continue 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 woolen products that are traded again in India and other part of Nepal. Without benefit of written language, these traditions and customs have survived into the 21st century, yet 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 as new generations come along. There is a need to commemorate the continuing fertility of the land, the traditions and other activities of Rung life. Pushparaj’s public projects are an attempt to do just that.

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