Swayambhu is an ever-growing art installation made of 9 miles of hand-twisted newspaper rope by artist Youdhisthir Maharjan, better known as Youdhi. The piece, which seems like large accumulations of sturdy rope, is actually made of newspapers that have repetitively been twisted unto themselves and further entwined like balls of yarn. It is both an illusion of mediums and a reference to religious practices from Youdhi’s homeland.
Originally from Nepal, the artist’s ongoing piece presents a disciplined exercise in repetition like the life-long practices of Buddhist monks. The laborious task is a testament to transformative power of hard work. Youdhi says, “While the labor may seem to be futile, rational demand becomes a lifetime of toil and absolutes. Labor is the process and the key to achieving a means to an end. It becomes an avenue for exploration, and a means for the artist to seek the truth.”