I just couldn’t but repost this fabulous photo reportage by Buro 24/7 Singapore. This seriously cool company provides coverage and access to the world of fashion and contemporary culture told through an Asian lens – from up-to-the-minute reviews of international fashion shows to local recommendations for a nightcap. It was founded by style maven and digital powerhouse Miroslava Duma and Singapore is the first country in Asia to join the Buro 24/7 family and is the eighth edition of the cutting-edge site.
And recently Buro 24/7 focussed on Nepal with a photoshoot which falls under their “giving back” focus as limited prints of the photos will be available for purchase. The #BuroGivesBack initiative is done in partnership with Leica Camera Asia Pacific and all proceeds from the sale will go towards helping underprivileged kids supported by Nepali NGO, Children & Youth First. The #BuroInNepal photo exhibition is open to public and will be held at #01-18, Leica Galerie Singapore, Raffles Hotel Arcade from 29 June to 11 July. 2016
FINDING BEAUTY IN CHAOS
Amidst a bustling and chaotic Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, there is charm waiting to be uncovered. Set against this thriving social and cultural centre, Nepali native (and Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 contestant), Aastha Pokharel rediscovers her city in pre-fall’s most delicate silhouettes:
Cropped ostrich and pheasant feather jacket with tulle train, by LA BOUTIQUE. Fantasy tweed dress, by CHANEL.
Jacquard coat, by CHLOÉ. Dry diagonal wool trousers, by CÉLINE.
Silk dress, by CHLOÉ. Fantasy tweed trousers, by CHANEL.
Cecilia chantilly lace caftan, by TORY BURCH. Circular brass earrings, by CÉLINE.
Knitted crochet dress, by SPORTMAX. Leather belt, by MAX MARA. Flower velvet necklace with Swarovski crystals, by GUCCI.
The inaugural edition of Photo Kathmandu, the newest addition to the international photography festival circuit, will take place from 3-9 November this year and will be anchored in the historic city of Patan in Lalitpur, Nepal. The festival is organized by photo.circle, a Nepali platform for photography and aims to facilitate interaction between photography, history, anthropology and a wide array of the arts, providing a much-needed injection of cultural vibrancy in Nepal’s post earthquake recovery period this year.
foto: Frederic Lecloux
foto: Phurpu Tsering
The festival will feature a wide range of programming – including 18 print exhibitions, 20 artist talks, 6 slideshow nights, and 6 workshops. With TIME as its central theme this year, the festival will chronicle Nepal’s past, and discuss its future, all through the visual medium.
“Despite and because we have had an extremely challenging year in Nepal this year, we are pushing forward with this festival because we truly believe that rebuilding a sense of identity can only be done through dialogue and the arts and culture is a powerful medium to facilitate these conversations.” says festival co-director NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati.
KTM photo festival team
Earlier this year in April, Nepal was hit by an 7.8 richter scale earthquake that caused over 8000 deaths and has left millions displaced. Most recently, political instability owing to the promulgation of a new constitution has caused much political and economic strife.
“Yes the timing means that there is much hard work to be done, but it amounts to lighting a candle in the darkness. The importance of Photo Kathmandu at this time cannot be overlooked. It is a time for consolidation, for sharing, for rebuilding, for sowing the seeds of inspiration.” said Australian photographer Philip Blenkinsop who will be participating in the inaugural edition of the festival. His work documenting Nepal’s political transitions in the last 15 years will be installed in the old Court House at Mangal Bazar, Patan.
In response to a worldwide open call for submissions, Photo Kathmandu received a total of 545 bodies of work for its digital slideshow nights. From these submissions, 80 projects representing 31 countries have been selected to be presented in public spaces in and around Patan. The slideshow night venues include the neighbourhood courtyards of Nag Bahal and Konti Bahi, and the public water faucets of Manga Hiti and Chyasal.
foto: Prasii Sthapit
foto: Kishor K. Sharma
As a whole, the print exhibitions featured in this inaugural edition of the festival, attempt to piece together a timeline of contemporary Nepali history. Artists featured include Nepali as well as visiting photographers including Bikas Rauniar, Kishor Sharma, Phillip Blenkinsop, Kevin Bubriski, Prasiit Sthapit, Frédéric Lecloux, Juju Bhai Dhakwa, Tuomo Manninen, among others. Several collections from Nepal Picture Library, a digital photo archive that documents vernacular Nepali histories, will also be showcased. Exhibitions will take place in a variety of public spaces in and around Patan including the alley-ways, squares and courtyards of the old city. By choosing to exhibit in public spaces, the festival aims to go to its audience, instead of waiting for its audience to come to it, and take photography to audiences that would otherwise never engage with it.
foto: Kevin Bubriski
foto: Tuomo Manninen
The festival will also feature six workshops that will avail Nepali and visiting photographers various opportunities for professional development. Workshops include; ‘Photographing the Everyday’ by French-Belgian photographer Frédéric Lecloux which is designed for young storytellers, ‘Translating the Voice: Explorations in listening and writing’ by Bangalore based oral historian Indira Chowdhary, and ‘Visual Thinking in the Editorial Process’ by Thomas Borberg, Photo Editor at award winning Danish newspaper Politiken among others.
For five days during the festival, Photo Kathmandu will feature a series of artist talks and discussions with photographers, curators, anthropologists, historians and others from around the world on issues surrounding contemporary photography, the image and the word, photo book making, the history of South Asian photography and other topics. These events will take place between 4-8 Nov from 3-6pm at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka.
By occupying local hotels, guest houses, cafes and restaurants, the festival hopes to bring direct income to the Patan local economy. It will engage with Patan youth clubs and other community groups to manage all exhibitions and events. Since its announcement in June, the festival has raised funds to rebuild at least one heritage site in Patan as a concrete way to give back to its host city. Funds will be handed over to a local committee on the opening night on 3rd November.
New York based Nepali fashion designer Prabal Gurung’s Shikshya Foundation Nepal has joined the festival as an associate partner. “Shikshya Foundation Nepal strongly believes that education can also take place beyond classrooms, especially through reading, arts and culture. Photo Kathmandu serves to be a platform for open, innovative and challenging dialogues. I hope the festival will put Nepal back in the thoughts of the international community and help rebuild tourism and heritage.” says the founder Prabal Gurung.
The festival is also supported by numerous organizations and cultural institutes in Nepal, including the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal, Nepal Investment Bank Ltd., CKU Danish Centre for Culture and Development, Turkish Airlines, Alliance Francaise in Kathmandu, Alliance for Social Dialogue and UNESCO among others.
… in the news today!
For further details regarding the festival and the programming; please visit THE EXCELLENTLY LAYEDO OUT WEBSITE: www.photoktm.com
For regular updates
Even tough this blog really focusses on modern art of Nepal and then mostly painting, I do want to broaden my horizon from time to time to include photography, which of course is an artform in an of itself. In the last few weeks I was intrigued again and again by images created by Sunny Thapa, a young man from Kathmandu who is calling himself a “weekend photographer” as he holds a full-time job in a diplomatic mission and only goes shooting in his spare time. Decide for yourself how “professional” you consider his photos to be and enjoy the first of a series of photographic posts:
Hi Sunny, tell us about yourself!
I am 29 years old working for a diplomatic mission in Kathmandu, Nepal.
When did you start with photography?
It’s been 4 years now since I started taking pictures only after Iwas able to do some saving for my first DSLR ever. I got a used camera and accessories from a friend and worked with it for over a year. Within a year it gave me some award winning images and I even sold a few of my works. With the prize money and the sales I quickly went for an upgrade.
So when did you begin to take photography more seriously?
In early 2012 with the new and still limited gear I began to take photography more seriously and was deciding for an area that I could stick with and which I would enjoy the most…
… and what did that turn out to be?
After having my kid in August 2012, I realised that I was polishing my skills in taking his pictures. This slowly attracted me into kids and portrait photography. But I won’t forget about the zeal of macro photography which was an is always there with me.
What kind of obstacles do you need to overcome in your artistic work?
Though working full time for a diplomatic mission (where people think they pay good) it is still tough to keep up with the latest gadgets and make your living in this part of the world. Hence I have to rely on used cameras and lens as I am not making much out of photography.
Did you have any formal training?
I never had formal classes on Photography but I attended photowalks conducted by Om Yadav, where I was able to get to know my camera better and get the knowledge from him as he shared his experience. Youtube and Google has been a huge help and letting me experiment new tricks and methods on photography.
Any last words, Sunny?
… I call myself a Weekend Photographer as most of the time I do photography on weekends and holidays only.
Thank you, Sunny, and very good luck in your work in the future!
… this is soooo worth a post: stories about everyday Nepalis fashioned after the popular ‘Humans of New York’. The photos are great in their own right, but by combining them with the short little stories they really come alive! See what the earthquake has done to the lives of people in different villages and I invite you wholeheartedly to follow Jaydev’s STORIES OF NEPAL page as a reguar reader!
“I had no idea Stories of Nepal was going to be such a hit, it was just a project to understand fellow Nepalis,” said Paudel, who moonlights as a graphic designer.
After the 25 April earthquake the 35-year-old set out in search of more stories. He was shocked by the destruction, but more impressed by the strength of survivors: such as this of a new-born earthquake baby in Kavre.
People offered to help, and Stories of Nepal took relief materials to 200 families and built 50 shelters in the quake-hit districts.
Says Paudel: “I had never before witnessed such love and compassion as I did in days after the quake .”
The earthquake destroyed my house so I went to the market to buy hammer and nails to fix it up. I also bought this nice bag while I was there.
Jyurme Lama (Melamchi, Sindhupalchok)
They call me mad but I am not. My parents died when I was really young. My relatives who raised me are also no longer alive. I have no family, friends, house, food or companion. Many times I have been beaten for no fault of mine. People pelt stones at me and children run away when they see me. They have no idea the rag I have on my head is to protect it from the wind which gives me a splitting headache. But once in awhile someone comes and talks to me.
Gyan Bahadur Dagar (Gumtha, Mugu)
As a child I was told dogs were filthy animals, they carried diseases and to stay away from them. I was never taught to love and respect dogs. Hence, I never really understood why we celebrated Kukur puja. After joining the army, I became a dog trainer. I have been with OT for nine years now, gave him basic training and then special training for search and rescue. I see so many qualities in OT that I wish were present in human beings. He is so pure, just look at him. I try to emulate him but am not sure how successful I have been.
Dipak Paudel (Thimi, Bhaktapur)
I worked in a poultry farm in Qatar for five years. My employer was a good man, he often commended me for my hardwork and praised me in front of his family and friends. The day I was leaving for Nepal he gave me Rs 100,000 saying it was a gift from his family to mine. I returned home and built a house for my family and one for my brothers with the money I saved. My children were going to school, crops were growing well, things were falling in place when the earthquake struck and I lost everything. A few days after the quake, my former employer called me on my phone. He said he had seen the news on tv and told me: ‘You are like my brother, tell me what you need. Come back if you need a job, I will send you a ticket.
Thapa Dai (Ghumthang, Sindhupalchok)
After a while even the tears run dry. I thought there was no point in sitting and crying anymore. So I picked up these tomatoes from our garden and started selling them to passers-by on the highway. If I can earn even a little amount, I will be able to buy rice and spices on my own.
Mina Tamang (Gyamdi, Kavre)
I was very handsome when I was young. The girls would start whispering to each other the minute they saw me. I think I still am. I am one of the few men in this village to elope with a girl. My family didn’t have enough money for an arranged marriage so I thought I’d just take her away with me. In those days love was very different. We were shy and communication was a lot harder. The youngsters these days have mobile phones so they fall in love over the phones. In our times love happened in person.
Bahadur Shrestha (Ghumthang, Sindhupalchok)
In the end we are all Nepalis. We all die when suffocated, and bleed when cut. The earthquake didn’t discriminate people on the basis of religion, caste, and class. Who are we then to set apart people when nature doesn’t.
Source: THE HIMALAYAN TIMES, 19-25 June 2015 #763