For creativity, it takes courage and imagination. The world of reality has its limits but imagination can help us realize what we now assume is unrealistic. Our alumni Subash Thebe Yakthungba (a.k.a. Limbu or Subba in exonyms) explores the potential of imagination in his art practice; mainly using Adivasi Futurisms and science fiction. Thebe, the first 1997 batch of United Academy is an artist who works with sound, documentary, music, performance, paintings and podcast.
He completed his +2 in Science from United Academy, an Intermediate in Fine Art from Lalitkala Campus, Kathmandu, BA in Fine Art from Middlesex University (2011), and MA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins (2016), where he received UAL Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship.
At his core, Mr. Thebe is a Yakthung artist from Yakthung Laje (the organic homeland of indigenous Yathung people), the eastern part of Nepal historically a.k.a. Pallo ‘Far’ Kirat and belongs to the Indigenous Yakthung Nation. He considers his works to be indigenous science fiction through an Indigenous lens, deep-rooted in the Yathung Pa:n ‘language’, Mundhum culture, script, dress, folk songs, and symbols of the Yakthung people.
He believes that “Skills are great but ideas and passion are greater. Work hard and be humble.” Mr. Thebe has set an example for us to follow our passion and work hard for its achievements.
Our passion can take us to greater heights. He expresses his feelings about the community, people and cultures beautifully through different forms of art unheard and unseen previously. He has spent most of his time in his career creating music, and paintings, doing various performing arts and exploring different plethora of possibilities to express himself in the form of arts concealed before.
In his recent art project ‘Ningwasum’ (memory or स्मृति watch trailer video) based on an indigenous Mundhum science documentary, he has explored the concepts of indigenous futurism, time-travel, memory and future with devastating experiences of past or present colonization and trauma of cultural erasure. His art project’s creation is all about indigenism and the futuristic fantasy of the indigenous Yakthung world based on interrelated experiences of indigenous peoples and their worlds in Canada, America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere on mother earth.
United Academy is proud to have Mr. Thebe as our alumni and we’ve always loved his different perspective towards life, languages or cultures and arts. The most important thing we can learn from him is to never forget where we’ve come from, to learn about our own cultures or languages and see the unseen beauty of it.
He has set a new meaning towards arts and has inspired the current students to follow what they’re actually passionate about. By taking Mr. Thebe as an example, we motivate our students to never stop doing what they love and never stop exploring ahead plethora of possibilities to unleash their hidden talents.
Author: Monika Poudel