Out of the many things I did during my International Field Program (a.k.a. IFP), the one great thing I did was assist with a workshop hosted by LASANAA, held in Jyamirkot. Jyamirkot is outside of Lalitpur, one of the cities that makes up greater Kathmandu. LASANAA is an alternative art space based in Kathmandu, which seeks to bring artists of all types together. The workshop was held in mid-June 2010, with the goal of creating plans for a Live Art Hub, to be built in Jyamirkot.
For me, one of the biggest obstacles regarding the workshop was the language barrier. For the most part, the workshop was conducted in Nepali, of which I know about 20 words (possibly 30 words if I’m lucky). I was originally brought on to document the process, but after I revealed my background in design, I was asked to contribute as well. We started off the first day drawing our ideas, and then the second day we were all put to work constructing those ideas from whatever materials we could find.
After the smaller, more individual models were created, we asked the participants to work in two different groups and combine ideas for a more final version of the model. The most interesting thing about this part was watching the different ways people in the groups collaborated. We ended up creating two models, one to be built in the Jyamirkot location and another one for a location in Kathmandu.
Some of the others hard at work
The workshop was a great experience, especially being able to create after a year of focusing on academia. It was also a way to communicate with artists that practice a different form that I do, as most of the artists present were painters (a few were sculptors). I am hoping that these models get built; when they do I plan on traveling back to Kathmandu to be present for their openings.