Ashmina Ranjit (b. October 4, 1966, Kathmandu, Nepal) is a contemporary ARTIVIST (visual artist + activist) resides in Kathmandu Nepal. Not being media-specific, she challenges the conventional formats and stereo typed fixation, in an effort to generate possible alternative of art, cultural existence and life in general. These explorations have taken several forms, including painting, print media, installation, video, sound, performances and the creation of alternative spaces.
Ranjit is instrumental in a new wave in the Nepalese art world, after her study in Kathmandu (BFA, Tribhuwan University), Australia (BFA, University of Tasmania), and the United States (MFA, Columbia University, NYC), she presently runs an art space called LASANAA, both as organizer and practitioner, to coordinate exhibitions, workshops and performance events which are stimulating new generation of local artists.
Ranjit explores female identity, raising questions about women’s cultural roles, social gendering, physical experiences, and sexuality in her artworks. In her provocative works, she reclaims women’s experiences and gives voices to their political concerns as well as to their most intimate expressions of desire, joy and fulfillment.
Her art is unique in terms of her experiments in often social and political subjects, which deals with the existence of women. It is worthy of noting that she focuses on materials generated from the body or objects associated with the body, such as hairs, blood, clothes, and accessories for arms, fingers, feet and neck. Instead of directly depicting the female body and realities of their lives, she uses them to evoke the flamboyance of women, the social restrictions on their lives, and the uncontrollable energy of women, which overcomes any restrictions.
Ranjit’s works also focus on social injustice, human rights violations and the ongoing violence and war. She has protested the civil war in Nepal thru happenings, installations and street performance coupled with national radio broadcasts by every radio stations in the country of the sound piece of the cries of the war victims.
During her interdisciplinary/community art project, participants are provided an opportunity to express themselves, raise issues of mutual concern, and increase awareness. Ranjit has worked on issues of female body awareness and celebration with women’s communities in Nepal, India, Japan, Denmark and other countries.
As a founder / director of LASANAA an alternative art space, that encourages experimentation, critical thinking, teamwork and cross-disciplinary interaction in the arts. With a philosophy of non-hierarchical collaboration and learning-through-exchange, LASANAA has been pivotal in inculcating creative discourse. Through the numerous workshops, residencies, art talks, panel discussions, and other activities at LASANAA, Ranjit has been encouraging local, national and international artists to broaden their approach to art.