“Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu” – Important exhibit at Nepal Art Council

“Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu” – Important exhibit at Nepal Art Council

Last night a fantastic and important exhibit opened at NEPAL ART COUNCIL. The project by artist Joy Lynn Davis documents community response to the theft of stone sculptures from the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal through a series of photo-realistic paintings and research about the sites where the sculptures originated.


Exhibition: April 10 – May 22, 2015

“Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu”

An exhibition of paintings and research by Joy Lynn Davis partnering with Photo.Circle and sponsored by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Swiss Embassy in Nepal with additional support by UNESCO and the Himalayan Art and Cultural Heritage Project

joy lynn 00_IMG_0123crop


About the artist Joy Lynn Davis

Joy Lynn Davis is an artist from California.  She divides her time between Santa Barbara, California, and Patan, Nepal.  She has been an artist in residence at Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre (2012-13) and the Santa Fe Art Institute (2008, 2009). She received her BA in Art from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2002, where she focused on painting and digital art. In addition, she has studied the Tibetan and Nepali languages, Himalayan art history and religions, as well as traditional thangka painting. Her acrylic and gold leaf paintings often combine realism with traditional Nepali and Tibetan motifs and styles.

Her paintings are the culmination of travels, interviews, photography, and art surveys conducted in Asia since 2003.  Joy Lynn Davis is also the founder and president of the Himalayan Art and Cultural Heritage Project, a U.S. based non-profit (501c3 status pending) working to protect the artistic and cultural heritage of Nepal and the greater Himalayan region by promoting public awareness and education, encouraging scholarship, supporting preservation efforts and the continuation of artistic practices, discouraging illicit-traffic and facilitating voluntary returns of cultural artifacts.

Joy Lynn Davis portrait


About the project “Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu”

Since the 1960s, thousands of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures have disappeared from Nepal’s public temples, shrines, courtyards, fountains, and fields. Prior to the thefts, nearly all of these sculptures were actively worshiped as living deities and their absence is deeply felt in their local communities.

In this project, paintings, interviews, and photographic documentation weave together narratives of these sacred spaces, exploring how people respond when religious art objects—that exist, not as commodities, but as vital living community participants—are physically removed.

Davis’ large-scale paintings bridge the present and past states of these sacred spaces by realistically depicting the sites as they look presently and then visually “repatriating” the stolen sculptures back into those sites with 23 karat gold. The use of gold provides a visual language revealing which sculptures have been stolen and references the commodification of the sacred through its associations with both wealth and divinity. Didactic panels accompany each painting, featuring historical images of the stolen sculptures, current photographs of the sites, information about the sculptures and any replicas, and excerpts of interviews with local elders, devotees, temple caretakers, and children. A website (rememberingthelost.com) accompanies the project, allowing viewers see a map of the sacred sites, and to search and sort a database of information and photographs of all known thefts.

joy linn Painting_Chochhen

joy lynn Painting_Pashupati

joy lynn Painting_Jaga


Vision Statement

In context of the ongoing problem of art theft—not just in Nepal, but worldwide—this project contributes to dialog about the international art trade and increases public awareness about the cultural significance of Nepal’s sculptures. In Nepal, the website and exhibitions provide a forum for people to acknowledge losses of their deities and exchange ideas on preserving what remains. After being shown in Nepal, the exhibition is intended to travel to public libraries, museums, and universities worldwide, offering visual and cultural context to sculptures that many people would otherwise only see in museums. People outside of Nepal will have the opportunity to see stolen sculptures in their original context, read narratives shared by the communities where the sculptures originate, and engage in the larger conversation about the intersection of art, faith, and the trade of cultural property. The interdisciplinarity and visual basis of this project make it easily accessible to the general public in Nepal and worldwide.


joy linn Painting_Pharping

Project Background and Acknowledgments

The research presented here provides a follow-up to two important publications, Stolen Images of Nepal by Lain Singh Bangdel and The Gods are Leaving the Country by Jürgen Schick, which provide photographs of 120 sculptures stolen between 1960 and 1989. Their books inspired and enabled Davis to revisit the sites of thefts, where the photographs contained within them sparked the memories of people in those communities. Without the efforts of Lain Singh Bangdel, Jürgen Schick, and other scholars of Nepali art and culture, memories would serve as the only record of so many beautiful and significant sculptures.

Source: all information and images from http://rememberingthelost.com

And here some pictures from the opening, courtesy photo.circle – enjoy!
joy lynn opening collage

Fashion Blogger in Nepal: “SwankyRana”

Fashion Blogger in Nepal: “SwankyRana”

… today for something different, yet still highlighting “modern life of Nepal”: after having posted about Lex Limbu, a Nepali blogger with a huge international followership (on Facebook alone almost 10,000), I recently stumbled upon my first Nepali fashion blogger.

There’s unfortunately not much information to be had about young Rajshree Rana who blogs under www.swankyrana.com and has a solid following of almost 1,400 on Facebook. Her posts focus on “Nepali street fashion & lifestyle” (showing mostly pics of herself, very cute) and the blog is more of a personal diary without my technical savvy. Enjoy some of her images here:

swanky rana collage

Siddhartha Art Gallery: Contemporary etchings exhibit

Siddhartha Art Gallery: Contemporary etchings exhibit

Siddhartha etchings SaurgangaSurendra invite


Siddhartha Art Gallery (SAG) and The Australian Himalayan Foundation are jointly organising an exhibition of etchings at the SAG premises in Babermahal from April 15. The show will feature works of contemporary artists Saurganga Darshandhari and Surendra Maharjan. Australian Ambassador to Nepal, Glenn White, will be inaugurating the exhibition at 5:30 pm during the opening day.


Saurganga Darshandhari is a visual artist and printmaker based in Kathmandu. She received her MFA in printmaking from University of Development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh where she was felicitated for the best media award by the University in 2008. She has shown her artworks in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, South Korea, and Srilanka and has participated in artist residencies in Srilanka, Bangladesh, South Korea and Japan. Her solo show “A Printmaker’s Feelings” was held at Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center in 2010. She has taken part in the Second Kathmandu International art Festival, and participated in 13th and 15th Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh, in the 19th Nippon International Performance Art Festival in Tokyo, Nagano, Osaka, in Japan 2013. In 2013, she was awarded by Basanta Women’s Exhibition National Academy of Fine Art and also received Regional Award by the Nepal Academy of Fine Art in 2014. Darshandhari teaches printmaking at Tribhuvan University Lalitkala and Sirjana College of Fine Art. She is a founder member of Bindu, a space for artists.

While Darshandhari is a multi-platform artist—working with media ranging from installation to performance—her two-dimensional works mostly incorporate traditional Hindu and Buddhist iconography and motifs along with anthropomorphic as well as human figures. Through her works, the artist deals with women issues, life and nature.


saurgangan in front of painting 2


Surendra Maharjan is a Kathmandu based visual artist. He received his MFA from the Central Department of Fine Art, Tribhuvan University in 2014. In recognition of his outstanding work as a printmaker he was awarded the prestigious Australian Himalayan Foundation Art Award scholarship this year. An upcoming artist, his works are generally recognised through their darker hues of blue, black and gray. His works are rendered with high detail and the foreground and background seem to blend together to create an overcrowded, claustrophobic effect. Female nudes and vines are reoccurring motifs in his etchings.


surendra maharjan correct

The artists’ works had previously shared space during the Amalgam exhibition held in SIDDHARTH ART GALLERY (SAG) last year. The show had brought together works by 25 contemporary artists.

The exhibition will go on till May 5


… and here some pictures from the opening (with the REAL Surendra Maharjan in the center!):

surendra maharjan


surendra et al

Source: Ekantipur.com Posted on: 2015-04-07 12:52
“Urban Myths 3” expo at Kathmandu City Museum

“Urban Myths 3” expo at Kathmandu City Museum

Urban Myths 3 wide shot


The URBAN MYTHS 3 Exhibition opened yesterday, and despite the general strike the gallery is open during its regular hours of 10AM – 6:30PM (unless otherwise mentioned on the FB page and Twitter account).

So go check out a colorful mix of art works by international and Nepali street artists, including the live art that was produced during the opening last night by SadhuX. The Fig Cafe is open too (see impressions of the café at the end of the post!), so you can cool yourself down with some chilled Nepali guccha soda or iced Nepali coffee, freshly made iced tea, and grab a sandwich filled with nepali cheese and avocado!

Urban Myths 3 poster

URBAN MYTHS 3: International Group Street Art Exhibition.  Poster Artwork: Deadline

Additional support: Tings


Urban Myths 3 show


Urban Myths 3 foto Prasana KC


LIVE ART by Sadhu-X LIVE MUSIC by Gnirehst + Outtalectual

LIMITED EDITIONS: New works by Nepali street artists, limited edition signed works by international artists.

(For your info: URBAN MYTHS was a solo stencil exhibition of works by Sadhu-X at the museum in October of 2014. URBAN MYTHS 2 was an exhibition  hosted in Brooklyn, New York, with Cluster Wall, featuring works by Nepali artists in February of 2015).



… and here some impressions of the lovely FIG CAFE, great place for a coffee and a meeting with friends!


Urban Myths Fig Cafe Collage new


Day-trip to Gouda

Day-trip to Gouda

A cold and sunny day about town in Gouda, the famous cheese-town. For the first time this year the open-air cheese market was going on again. Big rounds of cheeses were being traded right in the center of the historic town. What a sight to behold…

After walking around town and enjoying a snack of traditional cheese soup,  fried cheese roll and old cheese sandwich the day-trip was topped off by a visit to the “Kinderdijk” collection of historic windmills (19 of them, the largest collection of windmills in the world in one place!). Enjoy:

Gouda 1 neu

Gouda 2 neu



Gouda 3

Gouda 4