Ceramic exhibit at Siddhartha Gallery: Gopal Kalapremi

Ceramic exhibit at Siddhartha Gallery: Gopal Kalapremi

Siddhartha Art Gallery is presently showing a collection of sculptures of veteran ceramic artist Gopal ‘Kalapremi’ Shrestha, and Georgian sculptor Gigisha Pachkoria. The sculptures were created during a one-month long ceramic workshop organised by the Siddhartha Arts Foundation.

Gigisha Pachkoria has come a long way from Georgia, where he is a wellknown artist. His joined effort with Gopal Kalapremi was sparked by their common interest in the promotion of ceramics art, which unfortunately is losing its authenticity in Nepal.

As Gopal Kalapremi expresses with passion: “I believe our contribution will aspire budding artists.” He also pointed out that more work by other artists would soon be on display at the gallery after the Dashain and Tihar festivities are over.

All photos: courtesy Rupesh Man Singh


Kalapremi’s specialty lies in ceramic pottery and reviving the traditional ways of creating such sculptures.

He recently showed his work in Denmark,—Tattoo Bulls and Heroes— and his creations were highly appreciated by the international audience.

On his current work, Kalapremi comments: “I always try to incorporate my identity as Nepali in my imagination as an artist.”

All photos: courtesy Rupesh Man Singh


Gallerist Sangeeta Thapa considers Kalapremi one of the foremost ceramic sculptors of Nepal. She expresses her appreciation: “I have known Gopal since 1997 and I must say that his work has evolved in the last two decades. Unlike many other artists, his work has grown organically and with every new work he manages to outdo himself.” She points out that for this exhibition Kalapremi and Pachkoria have used various eccentric techniques, such as beer firing, to create their sculptures.

Kalapremi is also set to organise another ceramic exhibit by Danish and Iranian sculptors in November.

The current exhibit will run until Oct 8, 2017

At the opening, from second left: artist Gopal Kalapremi, artist Gigisha Pachkoria, photographer Rupesh Man Singh, as well as fellow artist Meena Kayastha

Himalayan Art Festival 2017: Looking back at a great event

Himalayan Art Festival 2017: Looking back at a great event

The E-arts Nepal team: Pramila Bajracharya, Asha Dangol, Bhairaj Maharjan, Binod Pradhan, Erina Tamrakar


Himalayan Art Festival took place at Nepal Arts Council in Kathmandu from 7 to 11 September, 2017. It was celebrated to commemorate the sixth anniversary of E-Arts Nepal and featured art works by 50 veteran and contemporary artists. Please also find at the bottom of this post a small video taking you through the exposition!

In a very professional way an incredibly broad spectrum of artworks was hung in the fine spaces of Nepal Art Council. The collages here displayed all feature photography by Pramila Bajracharya.


The event aimed to not only create an annual art event before the onset of Dashain, but is also seeking to encourage private individuals and Nepali corporate houses to invest in art.  (E-Arts Nepal is an online art gallery that has been actively promoting Nepali sculptures and paintings on a global scale.)





In this photo you can see a complete (and very very impressive!) list of participating artists:


KT2017: The exhibit at Taragaon Museum

KT2017: The exhibit at Taragaon Museum

A gem of a museum as the last of the major venues of the Triennale, only to be reached after an almost insufferable drive across town, on the extended grounds of the Hyatt Hotel and very near to Bouddhanath Stupa. (Please refer to my older architectural post here: The TARAGAON MUSEUM in Kathmandu).

In this somewhat more intimate setting of smaller individual buildings half a dozen of Nepali artists show their lovely works. Upon arrival a striking sculpture catches the attention immediately upon ascending the stairs from the parking lot:

Bhuwan Thapa (Nepal, 1969)
Purna Kalasha (Full/Complete vessel), 2017

Bhuwan Thapa is a true sculptor. The artist has a sense for scale and material. In this sculpture the artist makes a transparent vessel – a vessel of abundance as known in Hinduism – which is filled with stones inscribed with names of artists, famous people and people he knows. In the work, the metal exterior can be found in dialogue with the organic form of the stones within.



Prithvi Shrestha (Nepal, 1977)
Pillow (Takiya), 2017

Performance is at the heart of the work of this artist. The artist uses himself as performer in direct and short performances. In their clear forms the performances remind us of daily rituals. The artist often makes use of sound. For Kathmandu Triennale the artist makes a new video installation. He records himself surrounded by different sounds referring to moments between sunrise and sunset.


Hit Man Gurung (Nepal, 1986
I have to feed myself, my family and my country, 2017

Hitman Gurung is an artist who’s work takes an engaged and activist position. He uses his art to bring to light social problems dealing with migration and discrimination. For him art is only meaningful when the aesthetic relates to the ethical. For Kathmandu Triennale the artist creates an installation consisting of a series of small drawings (in light boxes) and two coffins. The conditions of the workers going to Qatar or to the Middle East and other destinations are questioned. In this work the artist spans a scope from the fate of anonymous workers in relation to their contribution to the economy of the country.


S.C. Suman (Nepal, 1961)
Jhaap, 2017

The work of the artist S.C. Suman is situated within the tradition of Mithila painting and ritual art. S.C. Suman makes for the Triennale three new works on paper in relation to the theme of The City. As an artist practicing a craft originally only executed by women, he preserves and contemporarises the practice. The paintings are on view in the Taragaon Museum. In the Nepali Art Council (and some other locations) one can also see his installation of jhaap, a colorful paper fixture painted traditional motifs.


Karan Shrestha (Nepal, 1985)
Eveything at centre is a little off, 2017

The work of Karan Shrestha is a mixed-media installation where the artist gives a kind of allegorical view on the city of Kathmandu. The artist is combining different kind of footage of the city of Kathmandu. The drawing of the Kathmandu valley is a detailed account where the artist merges in a symbolic way past and present events in the city.


… and a few more impressions of art shown at the lovely Taragaon grounds:


… and make sure to check out the other blogposts about #KathmanduTriennale2017:

KT2017: the exhibit at Nepal Art Council
KT2017: The exhibit at Patan Museum

KT2017: “Built/Unbuilt” exhibit focussing on migration and identity


KT2017: The exhibit at Patan Museum

KT2017: The exhibit at Patan Museum

At Patan Museum there is a smaller number of Nepali artists in an overall exquisite exhibit. Works can be found in the left wing (upon entering) on several floors, as well as in the garden behind the museum.

Upon entering an intriguing international work (by Cuban artist Ricardo Brey) immediately catches the eye in the courtyard of the museum:

Ricardo Brey (Cuba, 1955 ), Dust bathing, 2017


There are also a number of great installations in the gardens, most of all the intriguing tent with video installation of Tayeba Begum Lipi

and in the garden studios the wonderful mirror glass installation of ???



But let’s focus on the very interesting selection of artworks for the Patan Museum venue created by Nepali artists.

Jupiter Pradhan (Nepal, 1977)
The Ring, 2017

A wonderful installtion with five rings and faces positioned on rings which express different emotions, such as joy, anger, suprise, sadness, contentment. The artist has great respect for the fine workmanship of traditional craftsworkers and aspires to express their feelings with these carefully crafted masks.



Kunjan Tamang (Nepal, 1989)

Teko (support around us), 2015

A square black painted canvas is worked on with a whole series of staples. The staples are accumulated in the form resembling diagonal wooden beams used to support houses and temples damaged by the earthquake. The artist took an element we all know from the streets of Kathmandu, and made a rhythmic composition with it.



Saurganga Darshandhari (Nepal, 1980)
Mero Aama ko Thaili (My mother’s purse), 2017

This artist excels in printmaking and etching. In this medium she explores with delicacy and a sense for lines and traces issues that often deal with femininity. A personal sense of beauty is linked with motives which move between figuration and forms of abstraction. For the Kathmandu Triennale the artist conceived a brand new series of etchings and a sound installation ‘Mero Aama ko Thaili’. In each print the Thaili (purse) of her mother is the protagonist of the etching. A purse is here like a container – not only to keep money, but also to preserve memories and personal emotions.



Sunita Maharjan (Nepal)

As cities are a patchwork of neighborhoods and places, the work of Sunita Maharjan is like a collage of stitched pieces of textile on which she has transferred images. The work has a soft color over which the different urban elements are positioned in black lining. The artist observes the city and filters archetypical elements of it to make a rhythmic panoramically composition.



Youdhister Maharjan (Nepal,)


Newspapers are the main material for the work created by Boston-based Youdhister Maharjan for Kathmandu Triennale. The artist questions the daily information with which we are surrounded in making delicate cut-outs and collages using newspaper pages. The information becomes secondary, the play of forms, lines and shadows prevail. In a gentle and precise way the artist subverts the way we are informed daily about what’s happening in politics, economy and society as a whole. In the back garden of the Patan Museum the artists constructs a sculpture between trees just by piling up newspapers. The newspapers is used in the way a painter uses paint. Rain and sun will modify the work during the course of the exhibition.


See also these other posts on KT2017:









KT2017: the exhibit at Nepal Art Council

KT2017: the exhibit at Nepal Art Council

Simply fabulous! Having watched and promoted the contemporary art of Nepal for over a decade now, I am stunned to see the enormous strides this art and its artists have made under the wonderful curation of  Philippe Van Cauteren and the excellent management of Siddhartha Arts Foundation. All three stories of the Nepal Arts Council present works of a high calibre – exciting, innovative, thought-provoking … a total joy to behold.

Nepal Arts Council is a building with a history. Dating back to the 1990’s it was conceived and brought into being by the great Lain Singh Bangdel, the first modern master of Nepali painting. Upon his return from France he advocated that Nepal needed a “home” for the arts and managed to get the land and later build the 4-storied airy structure with funds totally from within Nepal. Up to this day there are complaints from artists and patrons that he didn’t create a “white box gallery”, but Bangdel did so very much on purpose as he knew all about Nepal’s problems with instable electricity, thus lighting, didn’t expect to change this in the years to come (and it still hasn’t, even though black-outs have beome much more infrequent just recently) and went on to equip the exhibition quarters with milk glass windows.

And even from the outside the building presents itself in fine state, painted the characteristic blue of the TRIENNALE:


In my report on the TRIENNALE 2017 I will focus on the participating Nepali artists (25 out of the total 70) as it makes sense for this blog. TRIENNALE 2017 as a 2-week mega event is themed “The city: My studio / The city: My life” and is an invitation to discover artists from more than 25 countries in total. It comprises a multitude of artistic expressions: sculpture, painting, installation, video, performance, drawings and more.   Artists from Nepal are exhibited side by side with artists from other cultural backgrounds and experiences. Next to a dozen collateral venues there are four major ones: Taragaon Museum in Bouddha, Patan Museum, Siddhartha Art Gallery, and Nepal Art Council at Baber Mahal, on which this first blogpost will focus.

Manish Lal Shrestha (Nepal, 1977)

Project 1336m, 2017

Entering the building your attention is immediately grabbed by the intriguing and playful interactive installation of Manish Lal Shrestha: long colorful wooly ropes, arranged in a playful heap and meant to be touched and felt and romped around in.

The 1336m (elevation of Kathmandu) knitted ropes continue to be produced during the exhibition by a team of friendly and communicative volunteers. Visitors can watch the knitting (machine), sewing, and stuffing. Manish Lal emphasizes the notions of labor, communality, and process. On the last day of the exhibition the knitted rope will be carried through the city as a procession.


Bidhata KC (Nepal, 1978)

Artist Bidhata KC realized a new, gigantic structure placed over the three floors of the Nepal Art Council. The artists makes a contemporary ‘copy’ of the Machhindranath chariot. In reconstructing the chariot  with modern industrial materials, the artist questions the link between (religious) traditions and the situation of the city today. A tribute to the beauty of this ancient tradition, at the same time the artist raises valid questions.

The large space is then also dominated by a huge sculptural work of artist Bidhata K.C., one of three spread over the whole building.

The artist departs from her painting by creating these gigantic contemporary copies of the Machindranath Chariot of religious festivals. In reconstructing this chariot with modern industrial  materials, the artist questions the link between (religious) traditions and the situation of the city today. This impressive body of work is a tribute to the beauty of this ancient tradition, while at the same time being questioned by Bidhata.

Also on the ground floor amongst the international artists we find a video installation by Bangladeshi artist Mahbubur Rahman which calls for a special mention as it it constitutes a moving and totally respectful work on the topic of transgender. We enter the installation via a life-like bedroom/livingroom with real belongings and furniture only to step into the dark video chamber where a double projection provides insight into the intricate life of a Nepal transgender woman. We see the husband and father of two at home and in the street while at the same time watching him/her get ready to go to a party. There is no moment of awkwardness in watching this heart-wrenching and powerful double film.

Another international artist needs to be mentioned as we ascend the stairs to the first floor of the building. Rumanian artist Ciprian Muresan has installed a cardboard model of a few neighbourhoods in Bucarest as an obstacle for the visitor. Layed out on the floor of the landing, the visitor is obliged to destroy the city by walking on it. The work connects the 1977 earthquake of Bucharest with the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Kailash K. Shrestha

Also on the wall of the first floor landing a wonderful diptych by Kailash Shrestha. In this seemingly “unfinished” work, we see caps and gowns of possibly powerful men. By omitting faces and hands the artist makes a gentle statement on status and power, leaving to the eye only the actual attributes which define a person’s status.

Second floor Nepal Council

Entering the second floor exhibition hall the another ceiling-high sculpture of Bidhata K.C. (see collage beginning of this post) catches the eye in the diffusely lit and very well-appointed wide room.


Ang Tsherin Sherpa (Nepal/USA, 1968)

California-based Ang Tsherin Sherpa is known for his paintings where he transforms traditional images by merging them with contemporary elements. For Kathmandu Triennale the artist makes an installation in the form of a mandala made of debris from the 2015 earthquakes. Elements, as remnants of the destructive force of nature, are arranged into the perfect form of a mandala symbolizing the cosmos.

Known for his paintings where he transforms traditional images by merging them with contemporary elements, the artist has here created an installation in the form of a mandala of debris from the 2015 earthquake. The elements, as remnants of the destructive force of nature, are arranged into the perfect form of a mandala symbolizing the cosmos.

Pratima Thakali (Nepal, 1987)

The Glimpse of Contact, 2017

“This city is not my home; however, it has given me a space to live in (temporarily). As a migrant, moving from one place to another, I cannot own the space of this city but the memories. The fragments of spaces are the stories which I fold and unfold through ordinary visuals. Dealing with collage of physical and mental space gives a sense of spatial memories in forms of temporary attachment, displacement, disorientation and decay of the space.”


Birendra Pratap Singh (Nepal, 1956)

City Drawings, 2010 (from Private Collection of Prithvi and Pratima Pande)

These drawings depict in a frank and often humorous style the different iconic places of Kathmandu, Patan and Bakhtapur. The nervous lines gives the depicted structures a sense of instability. Upon closer inspection visitors can find the artist merging elements of modern society with ancient Newari temples and settlements. Through these drawings the artist chronicles the changing city.

Sanjeev Maharjan (Nepal, 1983)

Maharjan’s works are often inspired from his social surrounding, which he represents through drawing, painting, photography, installation and murals. Through his work, he wants people to wake up and notice what they would normally pass by.

Sujan Chitrakar (Nepal, 1974)

ASON, 2017

Stories shape places and places foster stories. A place as old as Ason, in downtown Kathmandu, has an unending flow of events and memories. They play out around the gallis and chowks of Ason from generation to generation. The shops and homes, crumbling buildings and new structures, commerce and religion create a vibrant space. Happiness, hope and joy are layered over despair, displacement and sadness in the many told and untold stories that have settled down around Ason over time. Through a series of intimate conversations with fathers and sons, the artist anchors his work in Ason and through the space he is able to empathize with their personal experiences and the complexities of relationships. Within a patriarchal system, father and son relationships can be fraught, lacking in both compassion and conversation, but the presence of love cannot be denied. The artist captures the fragments of memories, stories, spaces, memorabilia and people that he has discovered over the time he has spent in Ason.

Sheelasha Rajbhandari (Nepal, 1988)

With this installation the artist pays tribute to her grandmother. Through objects, personal photographs and sound recordings Sheelasha Rajbhandari digs into the past, and sometimes forgotten history of her city through the personal stories and collected memories of her grandmother. The work is characterized by its intimacy and personal layers.


Third floor Nepal Council

Moving on to the light-filled third floor, we first see societal commentary in cartoon-like form.


Mehk Limbu (Nepal, 1985)

This work takes the form of a comic strip. Normally heroic stories are being told in comic strips but these painted comics are fragments telling the story of Nepali migrant workers and their unfortunate fate. A relation is made with the consequences of the blockade and the earthquake. A Pop Art like element such as a comic strip is used to tell the often tragic story of thousands and thousands of people. No phrases are written; empty speech bubbles are there for the spectator to imagine the dialogues accompanying the events.

Bikash Shrestha (Nepal, 1985)

The work of Bikash Shrestha consists of three cubic forms on which elements of different parts of Kathmandu are printed. The artists transfers elements of public space on a small sized intimate format. The wood refers to the traditional architecture of the old Kathmandu.

Sujan Dangol (Nepal, 1981)

If we don’t know where we come from, we don’t know where we are going, 2017

Sujan Dangol has been meeting and talking with refugees weeks prior to the opening of the Triennale. This video is the result of a collaboration between the artist and a group of urban refugees living in Kathmandu Valley. The video is straightforward and simply a recording of the game ‘musical chairs.’ This ‘performance’ by actual refugees functions as a metaphor for the harsh fate that they have been and are forced to go through. This banal, playful game makes us think about the lives of others who maybe quietly living around us.

And an exception will be made here, too, by mentioning a very impressive international artist (just like on the ground floor with Mahbubur Rahman’s video installation and on the second floor with Ciprian Muresan’s destroyed model of Bucarest) from China.


Song Dong (China, 1966)

Mandala City for Eating, 2017

Food is a recurring element in the work of Song Dong. On different occasions Song Dong has been building models of fictional cities made out of cookies, biscuits and candies. The cityscape of a city turned into a sweet utopia. For the occasion of Kathmandu Triennale the artist made a city in the form of a mandala with biscuits, wafers and candy. At the end of its completion the mandala is swept away by visitors of the exhibition who eat the edible city. During the exhibition an empty plinth with leftovers becomes a witness to the eating event. On two screens, the whole performance of ‘Mandala City for Eating’ is documented.


Here on the third floor is looms also the largest of Bidhata K.C.’s structures, third in her series which is spread over all three floors:

… and on the way down the stairs the visitor’s eyes fall upon one of the few paintings in the exhibition:

Laxman Karmacharya (Nepal, 1986)

Private Collection: Himalayan Bank Ltd.

This painting can be situated in the tradition of the Pop Art. The artist combines banal vernacular with religious imagery. A god being depicted as a superhero is an image which can be read from different perspectives. The artist connects an American icon, Superman with the iconic imagery of Hindu deity.



… and so much for the this first post on KATHMANDU TRIENNALE 2017, with many more to follow!

KT2017: “Built/Unbuilt” exhibit focussing on migration and identity

KT2017: “Built/Unbuilt” exhibit focussing on migration and identity

Artists from Doha and Kathmandu cooperated under the curation of Dina Bangdel on a project to research and artistically interpret the burning issues of what migration does to peoples identity: “Built/Unbuilt: Home/City”. More than 150 guests joined the opening at Tangalwood in Naxal, being treated to great art and even greater artist talks later in the evening, including a performance by Nepali artist Sunil Sigdel. The exhibition was inaugurated by the ambassador of Qatar and eminent Qatari artis Yousuf Ahmad was honored as “KT2017 Distinguished Artist”.



Close to 500,000 migrant workers live and work in Qatar, more or less slaving away to keep the fast-paced modernization and building boom of the small emirate going. A lot of media coverage has focused on the hardships the migrant workers suffer, the many deaths due to poor work safety – but recently conditions seem to have been improving.

So three Nepali artists set out to research the situation themselves, being invited to Doha for a period of two weeks. Sheelasha Rajbhandari, Hitmaan Gurung, and Mekh Limbu got to meet many workers, were invited to the many many Nepali organisations, and interacted in art projects with the workers. At the same time three artists from Doha were invited to Kathmandu to deal with the Triennale’s main topic: my city/my studio, namely Abdulla Al-Kuwari , Carolina Aranibar-Fernandez, and Emelina Soares.

Curator Dina Bangdel gives background information on the exciting “Built/Unbuilt: Home/City” exhibition


Dina, how did this project come about in the first place?

My longstanding interest in the built heritage and the dynamics of the urban landscape and the agency of the community have been central to my research, and has in this project combined both the curatorial intent within a strong research-based intervention. Notion that the city can be seen as an instigator and catalyst for creative narratives is at the core of this interdisciplinary focus. The experience is mediated through the voices/lenses of the diaspora Nepalis living in Doha to explore these spaces of liminality within the city. How do these communities express narratives of home, belonging, and self within the city? How do artistic expression/entanglements serve to ‘create communities’ within the urban fabric? Artists will then create a body of work that will respond to these transcultural intersections, the lived histories and memories, and narratives of Doha’s past histories.


Why these six artists?

The practices of the six artists that I have selected for this collaborative project complement the exploration of two cities: Doha and Kathmandu, with the notion of city serving as the catalyst for dialogue. The city of Doha has historically been a rich palimpsest of cultures—particularly those of South Asia—and the focus of this research-¬‐based curatorial project is on the ways in which artists experiences and identities will touch upon multivalent narratives, storytelling, and orality.
Qatar/Doha plays a critical part in this narrative of nation-¬‐building for both Qatar and Nepal. Qatar has the highest number of Nepali migrant workers, approximately 500,000 who have made Doha their ‘home’. This project therefore seeks to find the narratives of belonging, memory and self within a palimpsest of narratives—centered around the city and its unbuilt or rebuilt spaces. By bringing together Nepali artists and Doha-¬‐based artists in dialogue with the local communities with the city as catalyst, the aims are to examine the layers of narratives that emerge within the lived space.

And the very interesting works showed just that. In a series of photographic works Hitmaan Gurung and Sheelasha Rajbandhari played with the issue of identity when donning the work uniforms of Nepali migrant workers whilst standing next to them, dressed up in their personal clothes.

They also conducted workshops with the workers having them draw their families, getting in touch with the loss and missing of their loved ones (the workers can go home on a visit only every three years and often completely miss the growing up of their children):

Qatari artist Emelina Soarez presented a fascinating work of a “Persian carpet” made in the way of a sand mandala with earths from Qatar, Nepal, and India. She created a beautifully impermanent work of art an invited the guests to walk all over her “carpet”, making the different earths mingle beautifully:

The exhibit also featured video installations by Mekh Limbu (whose own father has been working in Qatar for more than 20 years and whom he got to see again after a period of two years during this project) and Doha-based Bolivian Carolina Aranibar Fernandez, as well as two works by Abdulla al Kuwari – one a rather sharp image of a Kathmandu scenery and the other a total blur, referring to the dust and chaos he experienced during his time in the city.

After the artists talked briefly about their works in the lovely upstairs showroom of Tangalwood, the guests took back to the garden to witness a performance by Nepali artist Sunil Sigdel who proceeded to draw blood from his fingertips, dabbing it up with cotton balls and then offering to the public “his last drops of blood” on a shovel and clad as a desert labourer.


The evening proceeded with a fascinating symposium session with both groups of artists, dealing with identity and migration and how they are personally affected, moderated by Dina Bangel and Christine Brosius of Heidelberg University (for the Nepali group) and Veeranganakumari Solanki Jamwal from India (for the Doha-based group).

Pan-South Asian exhibit with Nepali artists in Kolkata

Pan-South Asian exhibit with Nepali artists in Kolkata

“Things Lost/Remembering the Future” is a pan-South Asian exhibition at GANGES ART gallery in Kolkata that explores the ideas of loss, being and regeneration through the lens of personal and public memory. The exhibition is the first of a series that hopes to open up new channels of communication, and understanding, of the region’s unique political/historical reality and its cultural sub-texts. The opening will take place Saturday 25th March at 6pm.

Co-Curated by Kurchi Dasgupta

Curated by artists Kurchi Dasgupta and Amritah Sen, Things Lost/Remembering the Future focuses essentially on the small, the forgotten, the mis-represented as opposed to the official and the monumental. It looks upon the present from both the past and the future and investigates the processes through which historical narratives habitually emerge. We hope it will allow an alternative perception of history to spill through, one that links the South Asian experience to the larger, Global South.

One platform for 14 artists from 8 countries

This is possibly the first exhibition in Kolkata that brings together 14 artists from 8 South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) on one platform. The works were selected with an eye on the unexpected in terms of media and content.

Some of the artists are globally established names, some are comparatively new, and a few are fresh graduates. The one aim was to magnify those rare, incisive voices that are consciously commenting on, critiquing and resisting the xenophobic and gender-biased, mainstream idea of the region’s history. The other was to give space to the forgotten and the personal, hoping this would evolve into an inclusive identity map that differs from the currently available version.

A specific, long term aim is to present rigorously curated shows on the theme in each of the involved countries, facilitating a dedicated exchange between cities and cultures, artists and institutions, ideas and viewers, the loaded present and an anthropocenic future. Bhutan will be taking part in the next edition.

  • David Alesworth (Pakistan) (alesworth@gmail.com)
  • Kurchi Dasgupta (India) (+ 91 9654871180, kurchi.dasgupta@gmail.com)
  • Tayeba Begum Lipi (Bangladesh) (tayeba.lipi@gmail.com)
  • Huma Mulji (Pakistan) (hmulji@yahoo.com)
  • Aye Ko (Myanmar) (ayekoart@gmail.com)
  • Rahraw Omarzad (Afghanistan) (r.omarzad@gmail.com)
  • Pala Pothupitiye (Sri Lanka) (Pala72@gmail.com)
  • Ashmina Ranjit (Nepal) (ashmina@gmail.com)
  • Amritah Sen (India) (amritahs@gmail.com, +91 9830112217))
  • Sunil Sigdel (Nepal) (sunsee1979@gmail.com)
  • Thisath Thoradeniya (Sri Lanka)(thisath77@gmail.com)
  • Thyitar (Myanmar) (thyitarart@gmail.com)
  • Mustafa Zaman (Bangladesh) (mustafa.zaman21@gmail.com)
  • Maimoona Hussain (Maldives) (maena1982@gmail.com)


About Ganges Art Gallery

Since opening in September 2007, Ganges Art Gallery has organized and curated shows and retrospectives for an array of modern and contemporary artists from India and elsewhere in the subcontinent. These exhibitions have showcased the works of not just established but also upcoming artists working in painting, sculpture, video, photography and new media and whose practices are significant within cotemporary art and culture. One of our aims is to expose emerging talent through exhibitions at the gallery and participation in select international art fairs.

Located in a large, refurbished colonial structure in what is fast becoming Kolkata’s gallery hub, Ganges Art Gallery and its shows have received favourable reviews in newspapers and periodicals. We are looking to expand our presence overseas by engaging in strategic partnerships with museums and galleries of note in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Owned and managed by Smita Bajoria, Ganges is, in the future, looking to go beyond the boundaries of a traditional art gallery by hosting talks, art appreciation courses, film screenings and book readings. Our endeavour is to be a centre of creative and artistic excellence in a city synonymous with cultural activity.

33A, Jatin Das Road, Kolkata 700029, India | Tel: + 91 33 2465 3212 | gangesart@bajoria.in | Timings: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday closed) | 2013 © Ganges Art Gallery.

See more from/about Kurchi Dasgupta here>


LaLit Interview with Philippe Van Cauteren on KT2017

LaLit Interview with Philippe Van Cauteren on KT2017

Repost of a very fine interview published today, March 20th 2017, in literary magazine LaLit. Learn much about the planning and total process of creating KATHMANDU TRIENNALE 2017 in this highly intelligent conversation with Belgian curator Philippe Van Cauteren.

Taking care of art:
Philippe Van Cauteren and the Kathmandu Triennale

Image: Philippe Van Cauteren, photo by Dirk Pauwels


Philippe Van Cauteren is the curator for the upcoming Kathmandu Triennale, which focuses on the theme of the city. He is the Artistic Director of Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.) in Ghent, Belgium. Cauteren has also worked as a freelance curator and publicist in Germany, Mexico, Chile and Brazil, and has been represented twice at the Venice Biennale. In 2015, he was appointed by the RUYA Foundation to curate the Iraqi Pavilion.

… I have this belief – it might be a romantic one – that art is as valid for society as is a butcher, supermarket, religion and law. Art is a means for healing. Through an intangible and nonfunctional way, art can have a therapeutic effect on society.


What does curation mean to you as a creative process?

The words “curation” and “curating” come to me with a certain ambivalence. It is only with the professionalisation of the art world that this word appears and has, at times, taken on a bigger importance than even the word “artist”. Recently, the famous curator Hans Ulrich Obrist was wondering if it was not time to find another word for “curator”. This, to me, indicates a problem with the word. If you look at the origin of the word from the latin word “curare”, it means to take care of and cherish. This would be the ideal perspective to look at curating – taking care of the artist by having a solid and substantial exchange to provoke or inspire the right process or intervention.

At the level of an exhibition like the Kathmandu Triennale, which is like a festival, curating is also about trying to understand the place where one works. As best as possible, you have to try to understand the cultural and social surrounding in which you are active. This is a complex element wherever you are active – whether Belgium, France, Iraq or Nepal – you are always an intruder, a guest. But it is about developing empathy for our surroundings and its contexts to identify good and meaningful interventions or additions.


In your curatorial statement you state, “An exhibition is namely a tool (for transformation) and an instrument, which generates meaning, and that which serves, in its spatial articulation, to make the predefined artwork to become ‘elastic.’” Can you go into this idea of elasticity as it seems pertinent to your curatorial understanding?

Yes, with the elasticity, I think and hope that we hold the notion that an art work is not a unidimensional thing – it is not something that can be read or understood in one way. It is not to be taken like a scientific model or mathematical proof. How an art work interacts with its surroundings and spectators means that it has a very flexible existence, it always interacts with a plurality of people. What an art work means for you does not necessarily mean the same for me, in this sense, it has an elastic way of existence. In relation to the Triennale in post-earthquake Kathmandu where many things are still fragile and in some cases uncertain and not evident, the artists and the art works need this elastic capacity to answer to the place in which he or she is coming into.


So in terms of curating this exhibition, is it more about taking what the artists are doing in terms of that elasticity within their art or are you trying to create a space where those conversations could open up? How do you approach this part of the curation, is it spatial or art based?

Everything starts with the place of course, but you have to feel the necessity. If there is no necessity to do an exhibition then it is better not to do an exhibition. When I came to Nepal in November 2015 to teach a 10-day workshop, I had a fantastic exchange of dialogue with the people whom I was teaching. I fell in love with the city and this idea of doing the Triennale came around from there.

Given how busy I already am, I would not have accepted the proposal to do the Triennale if I did not sense a necessity. For me, necessity should be at the core of every activity. Of course what is necessary for me is not necessary for another person. And in terms of art and culture, there can be a lot of disagreements about necessity. Most politicians, in any country in the world, will not see art and culture as a necessary tool in society. But I have this belief – it might be a romantic one – that art is as valid for society as is a butcher, supermarket, religion and law.

… because an artist thinks, proceeds with and processes images and things as a means to connect the past, present and future. Almost no one else does this.

Art is a means for healing. Through an intangible and nonfunctional way, art can have a therapeutic effect on society. Of course this is not measurable, like how a certain medical treatment can lead to a decline in mortality. On the contrary, art is neither quantifiable nor does it have a direct function. Art holds up an extreme mirror to society. It is the best way to get a critical view of ourselves, our society and the world we live in and there is no better person to do this than an artist – not a journalist or scientist – because an artist thinks, proceeds with and processes images and things as a means to connect the past, present and future. Almost no one else does this.


Going back to the idea of curation and this idea of the artist, the Triennale isn’t just happening in one location, it is happening in multiple locations around the city – Patan Museum, Nepal Art Council, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Taragaon Museum – how do you approach the curatorial work itself?

Keep in mind that this is one exhibition happening in four different locations. The Kathmandu Triennale is one exhibition that is interconnected across these spaces. Each of the locations represent four different typologies of spaces. For instance, the Nepali Art Council has long been used for art practices, the Patan Museum reflects a certain part and layer of Nepali history and society, the Taragaon Museum was built to be a hotel by an Austrian architect and is a Western space, while the Siddhartha Art Gallery is a logical place for art.

Each of our locations is being used in a different way and the artists in them are being presented in a different way. In the Art Council, the artworks will interact with each other whereas in the Taragaon Museum you will have separate exhibitions in the individual units you find there. The kind of artist we present in the different places is determined by its architectural gifts. The four locations are of the same importance, but we try to answer to the space with respect to the context and the origin of the place.

The title of the exhibition, as you know, is “The City, My Studio / The City, My Life”. This reflects the notion of the city as a kind of primordial place where life takes place, a source of inspiration, a working ground and context for the art itself. The Triennale is also not just the presentation of the art works but also the conversations, meetings and the sharing of ideas. The art work is just the first step to build collaborations and partnerships.

The Triennale is like a pumping system to show the potential of the arts in other industries in the city. This is why we have invested a lot into our outreach to work with schools and children to give the exhibition as many anchors as possible. We want to show that there is a necessity to continue this and that there should be a second one in 2020. This exhibition is a part of Kathmandu. I am not a person who is here to do my thing and then leave, I bring my experience of close to 20 years in different places and locations but it is the city that is doing the exhibition.


What do you think makes the Kathmandu Triennale necessary at this point of time?

I met many Nepali artists – I think around 60 to 70 – from different generations. I have tremendous respect for the engagement with which they work. There were a number of artists who responded to the earthquake by taking art along with basic necessities. These artists took a stance. They said that they too could contribute and address the tragedy by helping people and softening the trauma people went through. You may believe in it or not, but it is a very courageous position for artists to take. The generosity of the artists in Nepal is in taking on cultural responsibility. They go beyond their own need to create their art works and take a position in society.

… the generosity of the artists in Nepal is in taking on cultural responsibility. They go beyond their own need to create their art works and take a position in society.

Another remarkable thing in Nepal is this remarkable continuum of the traditional arts. The tradition is very present while at the other end of the spectrum are contemporary artists and artists who think they are contemporary but are maybe more traditional than traditional artists. It’s fantastic to see so many art practices existing at the same time. However, I see there is a lack of a person – going back to the idea of a curator – who mediates between the artist and their art work. Someone to make their work more precise and help the artist formulate his or her work more precisely and accurately while thinking better about the form and content of the art work. If it is not in the sense of taking care, I have a very ambivalent relationship with the notion of a curator. I hope that the Triennale will show what the role of the curator can be and how meaningful it can be.


In terms of the artist taking a stance in society, would you be able to curate an exhibition with artists whose ethical stance or ethos you do not agree with?

I wouldn’t be able to, of course not, but I can understand that the artist is the only person in society who is able to deal with ethical questions in a different way. The rest of us have to work within the parameters of social compromise, whereas the artist is the only one who can stand outside this logic and take on another ethical position: but he or she also has to bear the consequences of it. But I would never collaborate or deal with an artist whose ethical position I would not be able to embrace.

Let me be clear about this – this does not mean I will not engage with artists with whom I disagree, there are after all plenty of positions. Even in this exhibition, there are artists with whom I do not agree 100%, but I still respect them. You do need something in common, even if it is a broad cultural sense and belief in the validation of art for society. In contrast, I would never deal with an artist who promotes ideas of racism, inequality and discrimination or takes a position against humanity.


Sticking with the politics that is associated with the arts, and the “city” that is central to the Triennale’s theme. Cities are places of both diversity and inequality: how do you balance the engagement with the city and make it accessible?

All spaces are spaces of inequality, not only the city, like the school system, the medical system. Unfortunately, inequality is one of the most difficult things to get rid of in the world. In Nepal, the caste system is not officially validated, but you will still see it play out for many generations. In my country, as well, various forms of inequality are present. I believe we have to try to have people participate in the Triennale to multiply the moments of contact between artists and viewers. This is why we emphasise our outreach to

… I believe we have to try to have people participate in the Triennale to multiply the moments of contact between artists and viewers.

schools, kids and young people. Most international artists are coming here to have an exchange with Nepali artists. We will be doing workshops, masterclasses, portfolio reviews – I want the artists to come to Nepal not just to enjoy themselves but to work, work, work and share their knowledge and point of views. I should also emphasise that the exhibition is a tool for information and communication. The Triennale is a catalyst. I hope it can add to fighting indifference, inspiring youth and encouraging the next generation to contribute to the future of this country.


How do you curate the outreach? Do you design the exhibition and then build the outreach or is outreach part of the exhibition design itself?

At the core of everything is the artist and the art, always. That is the starting point. But, of course, you do not think linearly. You don’t think, first comes the artist and then comes the second thing and then the third thing. You take it all together. So, from the beginning, we said our outreach is important. In each of the four locations, we will have outreach units. Also, the whole process of reaching out to schools and young people has already started and has been happening for months already. You cannot separate it, you have to think of it as a whole. But, we must acknowledge that we can do these things thanks to the artists and the art works.

… the Triennale is a catalyst. I hope it can add to fighting indifference, inspiring youth and encouraging the next generation to contribute to the future of this country.

What happens after the exhibition? Will there be any publications?

The exhibition only lasts two weeks. During this time, the focus is very strongly on things happening in Kathmandu and Nepal even though there will be plenty of guests visiting. We will be making a catalogue for the Triennale by the end of this year to give us time to prepare it well. We will include shots of all the exhibits and will include some critical texts on the exhibition. This catalogue will be the only thing left over from the exhibition, the only tangible thing that will remain. Most art works are temporary and this will be the only record of everything. For me, this catalogue will be a very important tool and will be a means to provide knowledge and information about the exhibition worldwide. We will also use it to prepare for the next Triennale in 2020.

The Kathmandu Triennale will be held in various locations around Kathmandu from March 24, 2016 to April 9, 2017. For further information, please visit: www.kt.artmandu.org.  

Source: LaLIt Magazine



KATHMANDU TRIENNALE 2017: introducing Ashmina Ranjit

KATHMANDU TRIENNALE 2017: introducing Ashmina Ranjit

Please enjoy the KT 2017*** video presenting one of the participating artists, Ashmina Ranjit, and her work:


Artist Statement

My art is rooted in my need to revisit Asian Traditional Culture from a woman’s perspective. Community, its essence and its power are the force that drives me to create. For me, love, social justice, equality freedom and our rights as human beings, living in our societies, our countries, and the world at large are the most important aspect of life. I create paintings, drawings, videos, sound pieces, installations and performances about the socio-political issues with a strong focus on female identity. My work questions female cultural role, social gendering, and physical experiences and sexuality while reclaiming women’s experiences and giving voice to their political concerns and their most intimate expressions of desire, joy and fulfillment. I work on both individual projects and in collaboration with other artists. I also invite the general audience to participate. Social injustice, human violation, and the on going violence in my country Nepal and around the world are critical in my work. In my performances and installation works, participants are invited to express themselves, raise issues of mutual concern and increase awareness of the topic that are addressed.”



Ashmina Ranjit is an interdisciplinary “artivist” who works internationally on themes related to cultural roles, social gendering, sexuality, human rights and other ever-pressing socio-political issues. She has performed and executed various projects in USA, Europe, Australia and Asia.



Lasanaa is an artivist organization that begun in 2007. Their main agenda is social reform through art. They seek to have the Nepali art community be more involved with social issues. They believe in bringing people together to allow learning through exchange, social reforms through art and artivisim.

More: http://kt.artmandu.org/curator/ashmina-ranjit/



Kathmandu Triennale 2017 – The City

Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF 2009, 2012). Like the precursory Festivals, the Triennale thematically engages particular social issues while advancing a nuanced approach to promote the pedagogical potential of the arts. Through the Triennale, organizer Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) presents multiple perspectives on edition themes – to educate audiences and engage society in critical dialogue. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition (KT 2017) will be dedicated to the theme of The City and is curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Belgium while associated museum S.M.A.K an organizing partner of the event. KT 2017 opens on 24 March, 2017.

Official website: http://kt.artmandu.org/

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: introducing Sujan Chitrakar

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: introducing Sujan Chitrakar

Please enjoy the KT 2017*** video presenting one of the participating artists, Sujan Chritrakar, and his work:


Sujan Chitrakar (b. 1974) is a Kathmandu based visual artist. He is an assistant professor and the Head of Center for Art and Design at Kathmandu University. He is also a recipient of the Fulbright Senior Scholar award 2013-14 for an artistic research project at the mural arts program of Philadelphia. He facilitated the Kathmandu International Art Festival – Earth | Body | Mind in 2012 as a creative and logistic consultant and also co-curated its first edition – Separating myths from the reality in 2009. He has several participations in international group exhibitions that include his representation for Nepal at Fukuoka Triennale 2005 and Colombo Art Biennale 2011. His solos include Utopian introspection! -random expressions within defined periphery, 2004, Masticated faces, 2004 and Let’s talk about art, baby!, 2010-11. He is one of the founding members of Sutra Nepal, an artist-led group pro-active during 2003-08.


More: http://kt.artmandu.org/artist/sujan-chitrakar/


Kathmandu Triennale 2017 – The City

Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF 2009, 2012). Like the precursory Festivals, the Triennale thematically engages particular social issues while advancing a nuanced approach to promote the pedagogical potential of the arts. Through the Triennale, organizer Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) presents multiple perspectives on edition themes – to educate audiences and engage society in critical dialogue. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition (KT 2017) will be dedicated to the theme of The City and is curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Belgium while associated museum S.M.A.K an organizing partner of the event. KT 2017 opens on 24 March, 2017.

See the official website: http://kt.artmandu.org/

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Jupiter Pradhan

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Jupiter Pradhan

Please enjoy the KT 2017*** video presenting one of the participating artists, Jupiter Pradhan, and his work:

Artist’s Statement

“Art has a great amount of gravity, which is constantly satisfying. Art and its utility is slowly growing into an absolute understanding of reality. And when this absolute understanding is attained, perhaps that attainment is what is known as enlightenment. In search of satisfaction, art has taken me closer to the elements of society. This is how I can touch, play & speak with society, delve deep inside it. This is how I relate myself to my surroundings. Streams of experiences and expressions begin to flow from within me. This is when art becomes a medium to me.”


Jupiter Pradhan, holds a BFA in painting from the Tribhuvan University (2005) and an MFA in painting from the University of Development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2009). Pradhan is a multi-media artist whose artistic expression includes performance, video, painting and craft. He has had solo exhibitions in Kathmandu and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan. Pradhan’s works have also been included in several group exhibitions in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Japan. Art residencies have taken him to Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. Pradhan, who is an active curator and art event organizer, was also an exhibiting artist in the 2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival 2012.


More: http://kt.artmandu.org/artist/jupiter-pradhan/


Kathmandu Triennale 2017 – The City

Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF 2009, 2012). Like the precursory Festivals, the Triennale thematically engages particular social issues while advancing a nuanced approach to promote the pedagogical potential of the arts. Through the Triennale, organizer Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) presents multiple perspectives on edition themes – to educate audiences and engage society in critical dialogue. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition (KT 2017) will be dedicated to the theme of The City and is curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Belgium while associated museum S.M.A.K an organizing partner of the event. KT 2017 opens on 24 March, 2017.

See the official website: http://kt.artmandu.org/

Aditya Aryal: opening at TINGS LOUNGE HOTEL

Aditya Aryal: opening at TINGS LOUNGE HOTEL

Friday, 10th March 2017 is the opening of the long-awaited next exhibition at my very favourite hotel in KTM. My friends Thomas & Anette TIngstrup are back in town and, together with their great team, busy with the preparations of Bardo by Aditya Aryal”. 5 years ago was their first art exhibition with Nepalese Art – the group show NoNameNoThemeJustArt with works by the most talented young artists they found at the time.

Friday March 10th Kathmandu gets a chance to see Aditya’s new works. As always the opening is a celebration – of art, creativity, humanity and love. Like in all other Art @ Tings celebrations it will be an evening with snacks, music, art lovers and drinks from their friends at Gorkha Brewery


Thomas Tingstrup: “It has been fantastic to follow the artists from that show. To see their progress here in Kathmandu, to show their works at Tings and to see how their art conquer the world. We even have the privilege to be able to help some of the artists getting their art exposed outside Nepal.”

Why Aditya?

Thomas Tingstrup: “Aditya Aryal is not only the first Nepalese artist we met back 2011. His works are among the first (of many) we bought and he is the first artist we managed to get to Europe. Not because he comes from a developing country but because he is as talented as his contemporary colleagues in other countries.In 2015 he was one of the 10 artists from all over the world invited to 5th Viborg International Billboard Painting Festival in Denmark – an event he almost missed because of the EQ, but managed to overcome with flexibility and help from the involved embassies, the galleries and our friends.”

Earlier photo of Thomas and Aditya, conversing in the streets of Kathmandu

What is special about the new exhibit?

Thomas Tingstrup: “With Bardo Aditya re-interprets the Buddhist concept of the transitional state between two lives on earth as a time-related idea of letting go and a spiritual connection to one’s mind. In his Bardo paintings Aditya Aryal is questioning not only his position in relation to those essential binaries, but also the constellations of contemporary Nepali society. Through a connective web of Tibetan imagery and references to Thanka traditioncombined with Western influences in technique and composition, the artist contributes an alternate vision of reality represented in his idea of Bardo.

Aditya: the artist at work

What is new about Aditya?

Thomas Tingstrup: “In june 2017 Aditya will return to Europe for the 3rd time. In contrast to his chaotic first appearance on the European art scene, this time Aditya is prepared.He will bring his Bardo collection of the brand new art works he has been creating since his return from his 2nd European visit in 2016.

The works are impressing – they show an artist that has grown and matured personally as well as technically. They show an artist with reflexions and visions. And they show an artist who is ready to take over the world and dig deeper in his local culture at the same time. We’re proud to present Bardo by Aditya Aryal


For more info on TINGS LOUNGE HOTEL:
My absolute favourite hotel: TINGS, a jewel just off Lazimpat Road:

For more info on Aditya:
Aditya Aryal

For more info on earlier exhibits at TINGS:
Sneha Shrestha graffiti art exhibit opens at TINGS HOTEL!
Now at TINGS: fabulous small frog sculptures of MZN Shrawan


KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Manish Lal Shrestha

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Manish Lal Shrestha

Please enjoy the KT 2017*** video presenting one of the participating artists, Manish Lal Shrestha, and his work:


Manish  is a multidimensional visual artist, who has had 13 solo exhibitions, several workshops and residencies internationally in Switzerland, France, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, USA and Nepal. He has several awards to his name including the National Fine Arts award (2011), from Nepal Academy of Fine Arts. He is Founder/Executive Director of Gallery Mcube, Nepal. He is also a visiting faculty at the Srijana College of Fine Arts, Nepal.  Shrestha is an alum of the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai, India.


More: http://kt.artmandu.org/artist/manish-lal-shrestha/


Kathmandu Triennale 2017 – The City

Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF 2009, 2012). Like the precursory Festivals, the Triennale thematically engages particular social issues while advancing a nuanced approach to promote the pedagogical potential of the arts. Through the Triennale, organizer Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) presents multiple perspectives on edition themes – to educate audiences and engage society in critical dialogue. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition (KT 2017) will be dedicated to the theme of The City and is curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Belgium while associated museum S.M.A.K an organizing partner of the event. KT 2017 opens on 24 March, 2017.

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Bidhata KC

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Bidhata KC

Please enjoy the KT 2017*** video presenting one of the participating artists, Bidhata KC, and her work:


Bidhata KC received her MFA from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has taken part in various group exhibitions and projects in Nepal and internationally. KC has had showed her works in 7 solo exhibitions till date. In 2013 she was awarded with ‘Master Tej Bahadur Chitrakar Smriti Puraskar’ for the Best Painting/Artist award and in 2011 her painting was honored with a ‘Special Mention Award’ in the National Fine Art Exhibition. Likewise, she was honored by ‘Arniko National Youth Art Award’, a National Government Award for excellence in Modern Art.

Bidhata has always been curious about her surroundings and draws inspiration from nature. She travels widely in order to gather inspiration. Her choice of medium range from painting and printmaking to installations and multimedia.

More: http://kt.artmandu.org/artist/bidhata-kc/


Kathmandu Triennale 2017 – The City

Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF 2009, 2012). Like the precursory Festivals, the Triennale thematically engages particular social issues while advancing a nuanced approach to promote the pedagogical potential of the arts. Through the Triennale, organizer Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) presents multiple perspectives on edition themes – to educate audiences and engage society in critical dialogue. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition (KT 2017) will be dedicated to the theme of The City and is curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Belgium while associated museum S.M.A.K an organizing partner of the event. KT 2017 opens on 24 March, 2017.

Erina Tamrakar Single Exhibit at Park Gallery

Erina Tamrakar Single Exhibit at Park Gallery

Fabulous great canvasses of her inimitable women all over Park Gallery: this 2017 single exhibit of renowned artist Erina Tamrakar is a visual show-stopper, vibrant with color and form.

Reposting an article from NEPALI TIMES we want to congratulate our longtime friend with her wonderful success. Enjoy images and text and whoever hasn’t been to the exhibit should definitely go.

Photos: Erina Tamrakar, Photo Collage: Beata Wiggen

Erina Tamrakar returns

(From NEPALI TIMES Monday, February 13th, 2017)

Artist Erina Tamrakar’s exhibition In Between the Third Eye opens out the world of women, their feelings and emotions to Kathmandu visitors exposed to the daily grind of a squalid urban life.

Painted in hues of vibrant reds, blues, greens, the audience is compelled to connect with Tamrakar at two levels: sensual portraits that dazzle us and at the same time force us to think deeply about female empowerment and awareness.

“When I paint, I don’t paint with a concept beforehand,” said Tamrakar, who has returned to the exhibition circuit after two years.  “It’s like the canvas and I have a conversation. I create as I paint.”

The exhibition contain her works from 2010 right up to some recent paintings, including some from the popular series Third Eye and Mustang which are inspired by her travels (pic, below).

On entering the Park Gallery, the visitor confronts the canvas titled ‘Third Eye’ (pic, top) which is washed in red, and depicts a group of women with their eyes closed, but on each of their forehead the artist has painted the third eye.

“When we have to introspect, we close our eyes,” said Tamrakar for whom the third eye stands for awareness, the ability to know right from wrong. Disheartened by the growing number of cases reported for violence against women, the artist aims to inform her public about the importance of empowering women.

As in her previous works, none of the subjects directly look at the viewer. For Tamrakar, it is her way of making the audience engage with the emotions of her subjects rather than establishing direct contact.

The entire two floor of Park Gallery is filled with Tamrakar’s work, each carries its own message. In some women are on an equal footing with nature, in others the emotions of women are captured in a single artwork.

Fotos: Erina Tamrakar, Photo Collage: Beata Wiggen


Tamrakar’s recent works also use monochromes, which portray an evolving society: paintings of women alongside safa tempos that they drive (pic, below). “It’s a step forward for the society,” said the artist. She believes it is only with financial independence that women can fully be independent. (Pics: Smriti Basnet)


KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Kiran Maharjan

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Kiran Maharjan

Please enjoy this wonderful video presenting one of the participating artists, Kiran Maharjan, and his work:


Kiran Maharjan is a street artist whose works depict images painted realistically with spray, paint which have elements of calligraphy. His work revolves around the dual nature of man and of the artist himself. Maharjan completed his BFA degree from Kathmandu University centre for Art and Design in 2014. He has exhibited his work in galleries like Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal Art Council and in various other alternative venues like Alliance Francaise de Katmandou and Tings Tea Lounge. He is currently involved in the street art project called Prasad and also conducts various street art workshops in and around the capital. His work can be seen nationally in the streets of Kupondole, Thamel, Pokhara, Birgunj, and Internationally in Denmark and Finland.





Looking back at great success at IAF 2017

Looking back at great success at IAF 2017

… even in the NEW YORK TIMES the successful participation of six Nepali artists at IAF 2017 was mentioned:

NEW DELHI — It’s no surprise that satirical portraits of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un are the centerpiece of the India Art Fair, the annual feast of visual arts where politics took center stage this year, including groundbreaking projects on migration and rapidly changing urban landscapes in South Asia.

Titled “Peace Owners,” the work of Nepali artist Sunil Sigdel uses Buddhist motifs on the faces of the three global leaders. “Artists are responding to the global political climate,” said Dina Bangdel, curator of Nepal Art Council in New Delhi. “We are also looking at agriculture and perhaps the disintegration of the rural community with urbanization. Artists are speaking in a Nepali voice but in the broader context of South Asia.” Bangdel said the work of her artists reflects both the “fragility and resilience” of a country still recovering from the devastating 2015 earthquake.

The art fair brought hundreds of Indian and international artists, exhibitors and collectors from more than 20 countries. Like the previous editions of the fair that began in 2008, South Asia remains the region in focus. ...” (see: https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/02/05/world/asia/ap-as-india-art-fair.html?_r=0)

(collage: Beata Wiggen; all photos: Dina Bangdel)


Prof. Dr. Dina Bangdel, who spearheaded the presentation in New Delhi, says: “There were six Nepali contemporary artists whose works were highlighted for Nepal Art Council’s second invited participation for IAF’s Platform series with a regional focus on South Asia — with a focused curatorial intent!

The installation was intense with less than 12 hours to put up a show, not to mention some technical snafus out of our control! Huge congratulations to the artists, whose works were highlighted in over 10+ media coverage. This experience was incredibly valuable and a privilege for me personally as a curator and to the amazing NAC team/supportors — the quick deinstallation is always bittersweet! Thank you to the artists for your participation! Congratulations once again to the artists — one of the most visited booth at the India Art Fair once again this year!”

(For brief information on all participating artists please scroll down to the end of the post)


(collage: Beata Wiggen; all photos: Dina Bangdel)



Participating artists IAF 2017:

Anil Shahi

Anil Shahi is currently pursuing his MFA at Tribhuvan University. In 2011 and 2012 he took part in NAFA’s National Art Exhibitions. He has exhibited with his peers from KU at the Nepal Art Council and participated in the Kalajatra exhibition. He is the recipient of the Australian Himalayan Foundation Art Award and held a solo exhibition at Siddhartha Art Gallery in 2014.

SEE ALSO:  http://www.nepalnow.net/artblog/anil-shahi-exposition-at-siddhartha-art-gallery


Koshal Hamal

Koshal Hamal’s (b.1988, Nepal) works are engaged in a synthesis of appropriation. Hamal received his BFA (with a distinction award) from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore (2011) on a UNESCO Madanjeet Art Scholarship. His work received one of the best awards for young artists by Lahore Art Council in 2012. His works have been included in several South Asian art exhibitions nationally and internationally including New Selections: South Asia, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2012) and South Asian Artists: Imagining Our Future Together, a travel show organized by the World Bank, Art Program (2012-13). Hamal is currently doing his Masters in Fine Arts at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan.

SEE ALSO:  http://www.kathmanduarts.org/Kathmandu_Arts/K15-hamal.html


Kabi Raj Lama

Kabi Raj Lama completed his BFA from Kathmandu University’s Center for Art and Design in 2009. He was a research student of Meisei University, Japan, where he also served as a Teaching Assistant in Printmaking. He has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally and has had a solo show at the Hotel D’Annapurna.

SEE ALSO:   http://www.theartofencouraging.com/kabi-raj-lama-solo-show-siddhartha-gallery/


Sandhya Silwal

Sandhya Silwal is Lalitpur-based artist. She completed her BFA from Kathmandu University’s Center for Art and Design in 2007. She has two solo exhibitions to her credit and has participated in many workshops and group exhibitions. Sandhya mostly focuses on painting but explores other art forms as well.

SEE ALSO:   http://www.kathmanduarts.org/Kathmandu_Arts/K16-Sandhya_Silwal.html

(photo: Artudio)

Sanjeev Maharjan

Sanjeev Maharjan is a Kathmandu based visual artist. Maharjan’s works are often inspired from his social surroundings, which he represents in the form of drawing,painting, photography, installation and murals. Maharjan was born, raised and studied in Kathmandu.He graduated from the Kathmandu University Center for Art and Design in 2009.

SEE ALSO:   http://www.artsofnepal.com/artist_work/32/sanjeev-maharjan.html


Sunil Sigdel

An alum of Nepal Fine Art Campus T.U, Sunil has six solo exhibitions to his credit and has been part of many international residential workshops in countries like the UK, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. Sunil was also a part of the 1st and 2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival and the Dhaka Art Summit. Sunil has been the recipient of several awards and recognition for his art, including the Asian Art prize in Hong Kong & Seoul (2012 A.D).

SEE ALSO:   http://sigdelsunil.blogspot.de/


IAF 2017 with Nepali artists again!

IAF 2017 with Nepali artists again!

Reposting important news about the participation of Nepali modern artists at this year’s INDIA ART FAIR (IAF2017).

The HImalayan Times featured two articles yesterday and today outlining the success of last year’s participation (“most visited booth”) and the preparations for this year’s delegation representing the modern art of Nepal. Good luck and much success for IAF 2017!



Nepali artists ready for India Art Fair

Photo courtesy: IAF


KATHMANDU: The ninth edition of the India Art Fair (IAF), an annual Indian modern and contemporary art fair and South Asia’s most awaited fair, is scheduled from February 2-5 at the NSIC grounds, Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi, India.

The IAF is the largest platform to experience contemporary art of South Asia and beyond. The programmes in IAF include lectures, projects, films, curated events, and more. The fair aims for the visitors to get the opportunity to discover the best galleries in the region and beyond.

The IAF acts as a portal to showcase the diverse cultural landscape of the region through the medium of visual art. That includes modern and contemporary installation, paintings, sculptures, et cetera from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries except the Maldives; and then there are representatives from the United States, UAE, Portugal, France, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, Greece, Austria, Israel and Singapore, among others.

The first edition of IAF took place in 2008. Since 2016, the MCH Group, a leading international group of live-marketing companies, joined Angus Montgomery — an internationally renowned group of exhibition organising companies with offices and events on five continents — and with Neha Kirpal, the Founding Director of IAF, they became the co-owners of IAF.

This year there will be over 70 booths in the exhibition at IAF with focus on South Asia. This year the Nepal Art Council (NAC) is representing Nepal in the IAF and it is the second time that NAC is representing Nepal in this sought-after fair. Six artists — Anil Shahi, Kabiraj Lama, Koshal Hamal, Sandhya Silwal, Sanjeev Maharjan and Sunil Sigdel — have been chosen to represent Nepal at IAF where Art Historian Dr Dina Bangdel, also a board member of NAC, is going to curate the exhibition at IAF.

Talking about the importance of taking part in IAF, Dr Bangdel said, “IAF is a very prestigious fair and we represented Nepal since 2016. The most important thing is that we got selected for IAF and we are proud that we got special invitation to participate in IAF 2017. The selection is very competitive. Moreover, in these years, IAF has moved to being less commercial and in the direction that really showcases the best of the best. The platform series highlights visual art from South Asian countries and Nepal is also included in it.”

The IAF is also a place where  participating artists get promotion. “The IAF is not only about the exhibition, but a place where scholars, art historians, collectors among others come together under same roof. Thus, it is also an important venue where they get to understand and learn about the art scenario,” added Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha, Curator/ Public Relations at  NAC.

According to Dr Bangdel, art in Nepal was always religious and it was easy to get support as people have religious beliefs and faith, making people always willing to support art. “As for modern and contemporary art, it is even more important — as contemporary art is the truth of the current state that talks about the political, social and economic condition of the country. So, art is not only about beautiful things but through it, artists are making very important critical statements. The IAF is a very prestigious fair renowned around the world as one of the most awaited fairs held in the South Asian region followed by scholars and collectors alike.”

Published on January 31, 2017 on http://thehimalayantimes.com/art-culture/nepali-artists-ready-india-art-fair/

SEE ALSO EARLIER POST: http://www.theartofencouraging.com/nepal-at-iaf2016/
SEE ALSO EARLIER POST: http://www.theartofencouraging.com/dr-dina-bangdel-nepali-art-video/


Most Visited Booth: Will Nepal work the magic again at IAF?

Undated photo shows Nepali artists participated in India Art Fair 2016. Photo courtesy: Nepal Art Council


It is not easy to be a part of something wonderful. One always has to overcome challenges to achieve something. Likewise, it was a challenge for Nepal Art Council (NAC) to select seven artists — Birendra Pratap Singh, Asha Dangol, Bidhata KC, Sheelasha Rajbhandari, Hit Man Gurung, Samundra Man Shrestha and Manish Harijan to participate in the India Art Fair (IAF) 2016 held at NSIC grounds, Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi from January 28-31, 2016.

Nepal is participating in the IAF 2017 and the year 2016 was the first time Nepal made her presence felt at the eighth edition of IAF. Talking about the action behind the scenes, art historian/curator Dr Dina Bangdel explained, “Though it seems like it is only the second time being a part of IAF, our preparations have been going on for a long time. We wanted to understand what it takes to do this (be a part of the fair) and we had to convince our patrons about why we should participate in it. Then there are technical aspects such as logistics which we had to understand before participating. It just looks like two years but it has been four years for us to reach this space.”

Dr Bangdel added, “Before taking our artists to IAF, we awarded travel grants to four artists in 2015 to understand IAF and its perspective. Moreover, being at IAF is an opportunity for the artists to network.”

Elaborating on reasons not being able to be at earlier editions of IAF, Sagar SJB Rana, Vice President of NAC elaborated, “Firstly, IAF looks for quality of the institution or gallery representing a country. There should be a good curatorial team that can present artworks, and to book the booth is expensive. It costs Rs 7 lakhs to just rent the booth for four days plus there is additional cost for lighting, logistics, et cetera. Our focus is to present the art of Nepal, commercial success is secondary. But commercial success is important and we need support from the government and patrons alike.”

The artists who received the travel grant were Dangol, Sanjeev Maharjan, Gurung and KC. About the selection of the artists Dr Bangdel said, “In the selection of artists for 2016 we gave importance to diversity in terms of work, career and ethnicity. As a result we have artists from different generations and whose works are different from each other.”

Sharing his experience at the IAF in 2015 Maharjan said, “It was my first time in a commercial art fair. I got to observe the happenings closely which was inspiring. It was like an open museum and I was able to see works of renowned artists in reality.”

For Rajbhandari, who travelled on her own in 2015 and got selected to showcase in IAF 2016, “Paying a visit to the fair, a question raised in me — why isn’t there any exhibit representing Nepal? It made me sad as there were works from many countries. I felt the need of the presence of Nepal. And India is so near to Nepal in terms of distance.” And in 2016 Nepal was represented and received a large number of visitors earning the title of the ‘most visited booth’. Giving credit to the powerful works of selected artists Dr Bangdel shared, “In 2016 we were highlighted due to the powerful works of the artists. There were visitors who were surprised to see Nepali artists’ strong work capable of competing on the international level.”

At the IAF, the artists must be represented by a gallery or institution to get selected for the fair. Sharing her experience at IAF 2016 Rajbhandari added, “It was a very good experience as we were represented by NAC, Nepal’s oldest non-profit organisation working in the field of art. I realised the need of support from the organisation as being affiliated with it helped the artist to get the exposure. We got the chance to network with other artists and were able to start a dialogue about the kind of art being produced in Nepal.”

Another artist KC, who showcased her paintings in 2016 expressed, “I got to learn a lot and participating in the fair boosted my confidence. I am proud that we were appreciated.”

The ninth edition of India Art Fair, an annual Indian modern and contemporary art fair and South Asia’s most awaited fair, is scheduled from February 2-5 at the NSIC grounds, Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi, India.

Published on February 01, 2017 on http://thehimalayantimes.com/art-culture/visited-booth-will-nepal-work-magic-iaf/

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Saurganga Darshandhari

KTM TRIENNALE 2017: presenting Saurganga Darshandhari

Please enjoy this wonderful video presenting one of the participating artists, Saurganga Darshandari, and her work:


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 the recipient of the Best Media Award in 2008. She has shown her artworks in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, South Korea, and Sri Lanka and has participated in artist residencies in Sri Lanka, 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 2nd 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 received the 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.

Meena Kayastha at Siddhartha Art Gallery: Upscaling debris into art

Meena Kayastha at Siddhartha Art Gallery: Upscaling debris into art

Artist Meena Kayastha (1983) lives and works in Kathmandu. She is considered a “chronicler of the woes of industrialization”. She is known to transform recycled and discarded objects into works of art through her astute and creative ideas. She sometimes even combines musical instruments with junkyard scrap to bring out the emotive quality of human figures. A recent entrant into the art scene, Kayastha’s work has been described as ‘boldly dada-esque’.
She is a graduate of the Department of Arts and Design, Kathmandu University, Nepal. The show at Siddhartha Gallery is her second major solo exhibition there and will continue through January 11th, 2017.


See a short video of her work before the repost of a KATHMANDU POST article on the recent opening of the exhibition below.


On Nov 29, 2016 Sakchham Karki writes in the KATHMANDU POST:

A solo art exhibition, titled “Divine Debris” which features work by Meena Kayastha is currently on display at Siddhartha Art Gallery in Babarmahal in the capital. The exhibit that features 19 of artist Kayastha’s paintings, where the rubble from last year’s quakes serves as canvases, was inaugurated by Dr Arzu Rana Deuba.

Most of the paintings feature Hindu gods and goddesses as subjects, highlighted by a series of Navadurgas painted on traditional wooden doors.

Speaking to the Kathmandu Post, artist Kayastha said, “After the April 25 earthquake, Bhaktapur was utterly devastated, particularly its wooden artifacts for which the city is famous for. I wanted to turn this debris into art.”

Besides using traditional wooden doors as a base, the artist has also made use of shovels, lawn mowers and bicycles and morphed them into goddesses like Vaisnavi, Kumari, Bhrahmayani, Barahi, Indrayani and gods such as Swet Bhairav, Ganesha, and Yamaraj, among others.


Speaking on why she chose the Navadurga series as the focal point for the exhibit, Meena Kayastha said, “I chose Navadurga because they are the protectors of Bhaktapur city and I chose the doors for the base because they also symbolize protection that shields one from the external threats.” She added, “Further, I aim to point out the hypocrisy in our society where real women are treated as second class citizens, whereas goddesses are worshipped in almost every corner of the country.”

The artworks that took two years to complete have been priced at NRs 200,000 each.

Source: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2016-11-29/upscaling-debris-into-art.html



More about a 2010 show of the artist:

More background on the artist: