Artists in Residency: Being in Kathmandu Valley

Projects Aims, Goals & Objectives:
The aim of this project is to explore, research, and develop exchanges and to create
a platform for critical discourse and interaction between artists from different parts of Nepal, beginning with Kathmandu Valley. This ‘artivism’ project intends to re-introduce Nepal to the world through contemporary life and art.
As the research base for conceptual art is almost absent in the Nepali art scene, the goals of
this residency are to introduce and encourage its possibility with art practitioners. This can be accomplished by highlighting different personal, social, cultural, philosophical, political and religious perspectives through critical investigations with new art media. The ultimate goal is to develop Nepali artists’ horizons and firmly entrench them within the larger global art context.
Objectives:
1. Reconnect Nepali artists to their cultural past through a series of heritage walks through
the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley. This serves multiple purposes
including rooting art in the local while creatively stretching into the global.
2. Assist artists with individual follow-up research on emerging themes from the heritage
walks. This research forms the conceptual basis for the next two months of their creative
output.
3. Develop and produce 2 and 3 dimensional works within a time frame of 12 months.
4. Share product development ideas at group interactions.
5. Organizing workshops.
6. Curate physical and online exhibits that re-interpret Nepal’s culture within local and global contexts.
7. Promote concepts and encourage artistic collaboration in new and alternative media.
8. Promote the contemporary art scenario of Nepal through the web and other media.
9. Redefine Nepal as a land of real people living in the present side by side with celebrated heritage

Project Methodology & Implementation
The valley is the cultural and political hub of Nepal. Thus five major ancient cities of Kathmandu Valley have been selected for the research based residency for fifteen Nepali and five guest artists from India. The residency includes intensive collaborations through workshops,
research, interactions, discussions (critique), physical as well as online exhibits of participant artwork, followed by project documentation in the form of a scholarly paper presentation.
Phase 1
Each artist cluster will attend a heritage walk and workshop in their specific city. These
heritage walks, led by scholars will inspire participants to look beneath Kathmandu Valley’s
superficial “myths” to discover innate depths that most Nepalis have lost touch with due to an over emphasis on the touristy Shangri-la focus. Each city center group will try to include one Indian / guest artist who, seeing Nepal’s art with fresh eyes, will help Nepali artists see their history’s art and architecture objectively.

Following idea threads presented during the heritage workshops, participants will delve
into a weeklong, on-site research phase exploring and interacting with local citizens and field experts. The next two months of individual concept/project development is tempered with fortnightly, half-day larger group interactions with cross-disciplinary guests who will continue to share knowledge and provide project development feedback.

Phase 2
The resulting projects will be shared during a weeklong gallery exhibit, with accompanying online exhibit. During the exhibit, artists will again come together for a 3-day workshop designed to motivate collaboration in new media.

*Being in Kathmandu Valley, artists in residency project is partly supported by ANA

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