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Offset Projects

SISNU by Soyeohang Rai

SISNU by Soyeohang Rai

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1st Edition, 2023 
Double sided printed accordion with a
screen printed hardcover
Published by Offset Projects 
Limited Edition artist book

In negotiating the complexities of his identity and its relationship to land, migration and gender, artist Soyeohang Rai travels to Nepal, the land of his ancestors, and is confronted by the rigidities of masculinity he is expected to conform to. This defining moment unravels an unanticipated journey to claim his own relationship with the mountainous terrain of the land, gaining strength from the ritualistic performance of maruni ( a dance form practiced by tribes of the Himalayan Belt and Nepali diaspora), opening himself to the feminine within through emotional and physical transformations and empowering the moment in the act of adornment. The maruni emerges and settles within Rai, demanding attention like the red hibiscus of his village and home. The deep colours of the flower remain the most desirable part of the plant, leaving the lush foliage of its bush often forgotten. As is the relationship of the arrival and departure of this flower, so shall the maruni continue to live within him and depart. Only to return again and offer in its warmth inheritance, autonomy and resilience to his being. 


“After being impolitely denied to my ancestral land, I felt there was no longer a need to be granted access to a gift that was never taken from me.”


Sisnu Pani is a term often used by Nepalese people to connote to punishing the most miscreant with the stinging nettle (sisnu), an undesirable plant, whipped all over their naked body.

Some images involve nudity. 

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