Manik Nakra (Austin)
April 6 - 29, 2013
This exhibit is about the Champawat Tiger, a legendary female Bengal tiger responsible for an estimated 436 deaths in Nepal and the Kumaon area of India, mostly during the 19th century.
After killing over 200 people in Nepal, the tigress was driven by the Nepalese Army across the border (river Sarda) into India, where she continued her massacring in the Kumaon District. A maneater so fearless, all her killings occurred during the daytime.
The tigress was finally shot in 1907 by a British colonel born in India named Jim Corbett, a dramatic feat confirmed by about 300 villagers. Since then, Corbett has been elevated to the level of a sadhu(saint) in the region and a monument has been constructed at the tigress death site. When India broke free of colonial rule in 1947, they opened their first national park, Jim Corbett National Park.
In January 2012, after reading this story in Man-Eaters of Kumaon (a journal kept by Jim Corbett), Manik began a project documenting all 436 tiger attacks. Along the way it turned into an installation about modernizing identities and an allegory for the messy and maddening road to progress in India.
All drawings are watercolor and gouache on paper, 12in x 16in (30.4cm x 40.6cm)
Manik is an artist living, working, and eating late night Chinese in Austin, TX.