Arpana Rayamajhi is a New York City based artist who was born in 1987 in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is a multi-media artist who focuses mainly on paintings, sculpture, music, and jewelry. A recent graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art, she is also the co-founder of DISPOSE, an online magazine collection of disposable photographs that narrates the day of an individual.
Her work is driven by her love for color. She explains, "Back home it is a symbol of celebration, has deep religious significance, and is an integral part of everyday life. Growing up in a Hindu society where women are banned from wearing color upon the death of their husband, especially shades of red, is something that has affected me since I was a child. After losing my father, my mother’s decision to wear red was criticized by many people, including women. I see the culture of stripping a woman from wearing color as a practice that is misogynistic and regressive. Color then seems to be a symbol of life, and in a way, not letting a woman wear color is telling her that her life, her identity, is completely linked to her husband’s and therefore, she has no identity for herself. I am a woman, and I will use color whenever I want."
Arpana is also the founder of ARPANAJEWELS where she sells individual one of a kind pieces she's hand-made from various materials from her home in Nepal as well as from her travels around the world. Harnessing the spirit of what it means to adorn ourselves, she creates pieces that function not only as ornamentation but also as armor. She finds inspiration in tribal cultures and views wearing colors and jewelry as something ancient, evocative of the spirit of humanity.