Earth | Body | Mind
Introduction of KIAF-2012
By: Sangeeta Thapa
(Chairperson- SiddharthaArt Foundation)
In October 2009, the Siddhartha Art Gallery organized an international art festival with the theme "Separating Myth from Reality - Status of Women." Artists from twenty-five countries participated in this two-week exhibition, which was held in six different venues across Kathmandu City. The event was well attended and received extensive coverage locally and internationally. Encouraged by the success of the festival, the Siddhartha Arts Foundation was established in October 2011, as a non-profit organization committed to promoting the contemporary arts in Nepal and establishing Kathmandu as an international contemporary arts hub.
Over the last year, the Siddhartha Arts Foundation has been working with a team of arts managers to host the Second Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF), titled “Earth | Body | Mind.” The Foundation seeks to inspire the next generation of artists and art managers to come forward and take contemporary Nepali art to an international level.
Earth|Body|Mind is dedicated to one of the twentieth century’s most critical issues: climate change and its affect on the environment and culture. The Festival, one of the biggest art events of South Asia, is a triennial that will raise one critical social concern in each of its editions, with the intention of using art as a tool for social change. South Asia is one of the world's most climate vulnerable regions with a rapidly growing population dangerously exposed to floods, droughts, storms and rising sea levels. According to a survey of 170 countries conducted by the Climate Change Index, of the 16 countries listed as being at extreme risk from climate change and global warming over the next 30 years, five are in South Asia, with Bangladesh and India in first and second places, Nepal in fourth, Afghanistan in second and Pakistan at sixteenth. South Asia is especially vulnerable because of changes in weather patterns that result in natural disasters. In 2010, the Maldives conducted an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight the danger of rising sea levels, while Nepal completed a high-level meeting at Everest Base Camp in the same year to highlight the problems that climate change will bring to the lives of Nepali people. In many parts of the world, the traditional and cultural reverence for nature has been discarded in favor of economic development, which has only served to exacerbate the problem of environmental degradation.
|Basantpur Durbar Square|
Kathmandu, strategically situated as a trade centre between China and India, has historically been an important refuge for religious and political exiles, artists and experimental practices. KIAF continues this metropolitan legacy as a nexus of people, ideas, and practices.
Over 170 international artists and 60 Nepali artists submitted their applications to take part in the 2nd KIAF. To reach international artists, we touched base with ITS LIQUID international art portal, Resart Finland and the Bundesband Bildender Künstler (German Federal Artist´s Association), which published the Festival's call for artists on their homepage. We are grateful to Rossi and Rossi, the Bronx Museum, and friends at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and World Summit of the Arts and Culture, Melbourne for referring us to some of the artists who are now a part of the KIAF event. We also did our own research and contacted international artists, with an emphasis on artists who have been working with environmental issues. The five-member jury that selected the works was comprised of Dr. Dina Bangdel, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jagath Weerasinghe, artist, art writer and professor, Postgraduate Institute of Archeology, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Joyce Toh, Senior Curator, Singapore Art Museum; Navin Khadka, BBC News Correspondent specializing in climate change; Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Salima Hashimi, curator, contemporary artist and dean of the School of Visual Arts, Beacon house National University, Lahore, Pakistan.
This edition of the KIAF embraces 71 international and 21 national artists, six curators and local and international media. KIAF takes pride in the fact that the celebrated British artist and Turner prize winner Richard Long consented to be one of the Patrons of the Festival. We are also honored that some of the subcontinent's eminent artists are a part of this festival.
|Bhaktapur Durbar Square|
Special focus has been given to Lalitpur, the historic and ancient city of fine arts. The Siddhartha Arts Foundation envisions that Lalitpur will also serve as a vibrant contemporary arts centre in the future with Patan Museum and its environs becoming a hub of artistic activity, once the Mulchowk, Sundari Chowk, Bhandarkhal Gardens and the Bahadur Shak Baithak become one comprehensive cultural unit. We have also reached out to the local community to host performances and events during the festival which is in keeping with the vibrant cultural tradition of Patan and we are grateful to the support we have received.
KIAF is an ambitious project. The scale of the Festival in itself testifies to the vision and effort of our entire team, who have worked hard to make the Festival a grand success. The KIAF could not have been possible without the generous support of the artists, organizations, patrons, embassies, sponsors, supporters, media, generous individuals and volunteers who continue to give us the confidence to make this festival a reality.
We May End Up in the Same Boat
By MICHELLE HALL
Which boat will carry our future? Climate change and political struggle means that any one of us could become a refugee at any moment. We could all “end up in the same boat” - safe or insecure, seaworthy or doomed.
These four boats represent different possibilities for humans and the earth. The glitter boat represents prosperity. If we work together to ensure a future where nature and humans live in harmony, we may indeed enjoy a shiny, splendid future. The second boat represents what might happen if there is some movement towards an environmentally and socially equitable future, where we may yet be comfortable and safe. The third boat may not keep us afloat: It is insecure, unsafe, a symbol of a future where we disregard the needs of the environment and humans as a species. The final boat carries a future without hope. I see it as a great possibility if humanity does not drastically change the way it relates to the environment and fellow humans. The “boat” is a symbol of hope and safety. The weavings represent water. The first two weavings represent clean, clear water, which is the source of life. The last two represent dirty water, the source of illness and struggle now and in the future.
Bio of MICHELLE HALL
Soft sculpture and installation artist Michelle Hall was born in South Africa, but now resides in Australia. She takes inspiration from her birthplace and the skills she gained from her mother and grandmother doing women’s work as well as the current transient nature of global human life. Her work responds to broad social and political situations which confront the nature of humanity. She questions the ethics of governments and corporations in view of the precarious future of the planet.
In the Midst of Darkness Sunlight Persists
By PRISCILA De CARVALHO
Mahatma Gandhi wrote an article in the 1920s for his weekly paper, Young India, in which he made an observation that inspires de Carvalho’s work today: "I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates.”
Her installation combines various media -- including recycled cardboard boxes, acrylic on canvas, and objects adhered to the wall - to create an environment that reflects the interplay of change and changelessness in the context of climate change, rising sea levels and urban expansion in cities with low-lying areas. It resolves into a narrative involving cultures around the world affected by flooding, using images collected from the realms of memory, documentary films, the internet, and photography. Through the use of various materials and sources, the installation represents the complexity, chaos and paradoxes of contemporary life in the 21st century. It combines the of influence of Pop Art, Spanish in formalism, folk art, the monumentality of mural painting and a reverence for architectural forms to create a multi-layered, historically complex narrative of urban environments.
Bio of PRISCILA De CARVALHO
Priscila De Carvalho is a Brazilian-born American artist working with painting, site-specific installations and public art. She is a recipient of the Pollock- Krasner Foundation Award and has been an artist-in-residence at Lower East Side Printshop and Sculpture Space. Her work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Art Nexus and featured in exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, El Museo’s Sixth Bienal, Bronx Museum, The Jersey City Museum, and Deutsche Bank and among others. De Carvalho lives and works in New York.
Spirit Pictures From Another World
By MAUREEN BISILLIAT
In Brazil’s interior, indigenous ethnic groups still live within their cultural traditions, though in contact with the world of today. Fifteen separate tribes and four major language groups live along the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon that is nearly 2000 kilometers (1,200 miles) long. These works explore the world of the Xingu.
In Brazil’s interior, indigenous ethnic groups still live within their cultural traditions, though in contact with the world of today. Fifteen separate tribes and four major language groups live along the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon that is nearly 2000 kilometers (1,200 miles) long. These works explore the world of the Xingu.
Bio of MAUREEN BISILLIAT
Her name isn’t Brazilian. But for Brazilians she is as Brazil as samba; her instrument isher camera. Born in the village of Englefield Green, Surrey in 1931, her Irish mother was a painter and her Argentinean father was a diplomat. Initially drawn to painting, she studied in Paris and then in New York City at the Art Students League. She first moved to Brazil in 1952 and settled there permanently in 1957, taking up photography a few years later and becoming a photojournalist with numerous books to her credit. She lives and works in Brazil.
By LEANG SECKON
The legendary Naga has a common ancestry in countries of the Lower Mekong Basin. In Cambodia, the mythical water creature appears in many forms. The serpents may have special names such as Ananta, the mythical ‘sleeping couch’ for the reclining god Vishnu, or Mucilinda, the multi-headed coiled serpent that shelters the Buddha. The naga that appeared along the Siem Reap River in early 2008, however, was fashioned from rattan, recycled plastic, nylon fishing line and fitted with electric lighting. Supported on bamboo poles anchored in the sandy riverbed, the giant white serpent appeared from a distance to be rearing out of the water.
The 225-metre Naga was the brainchild of Cambodian artist Leang Seckon as a tribute to World Water Day on March 22. King Norodom Sihamoni was patron to this master installation which took more than one hundred people two weeks to assemble and put into place. Among those who assisted were a dozen fishermen from the Tonle Sap Lake who used their skills in building bamboo fishing gear to anchor the structure to the bed of what scientists now believe is a man-made river.
The installation was inaugurated by Siem Reap Deputy Governor Kim Chay Hieng in a riverfront ceremony followed by a fashion parade of recycled clothing by the Rubbish Project, which has been seeking to draw attention to environmental issues in Cambodia. The Naga was last seen in its entirety on April 10 before it was dismantled ahead of the Khmer New Year.
Bio of LEANG SECKON
Among the foremost members of the emerging Cambodian contemporary art scene, Leang Seckon was born in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, in the early 1970s at the onset of the American bombings of Indochina and grew up during the rise of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. As a result of these tumultuous years he was left without a birth certificate and unable to verify his exact age. A 2002 graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, and his works have appeared as illustrations throughout Cambodia and the United States. Noted exhibitions include the 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in Japan in 2009, the ASEAN New Zero Contemporary Art Exchange, Yangon, Myanmar, also in 2009, and his Rubbish Project (2008) a public project in Phnom Penh. He has exhibited widely in his home country as well throughout Asia. In 2010, he received his first solo exhibition in Europe.
Relief From Suffering Pray Wheel Big Brother
By NORTSE (China)
People of my age in Tibet experienced the “Cultural Revolution” and then the period of reforms and the country’s reopening to the outside world and now are experiencing the present period of economic globalization. Perhaps, you might say, our experience of life has been rich, but if I could have made a choice, I would rather have done without such “richness.” I personally feel that in the midst of all these various changing social or societal forms, I’ve been a human guinea pig, part of an ongoing experiment.
I hope that the ‘Self-Portraits’ series will be viewed not only as the history of my own soul, my own inner being, but also as the history of the innermost being of every single individual who has lived through these social changes.
Bio of NORTSE
Tibetan artist Nortse (Norbu Tsering) was born in Lhasa in 1963 and studied art at Tibet University in Lhasa, the Central Arts Academy in Beijing and the art academies in Guangzhou and Tianjing. His work deals with issues as relevant to the rest of the world as Lhasa: global warming, environmental degradation, overpopulation, alcoholism among the young, and the desire to form one's own identity in a world of mass media and the erosion of culture and tradition. He has exhibited in Beijing, China; Colorado, New York, and Santa Fe, USA; Germany and the UK as well as Lhasa.
Live Longer, Die Faster
By TIANZHUO CHEN (China)
By TIANZHUO CHEN (China)
My work embraces my belief in immortality of the soul. Combining paintings and sculptures, it creates an articulation between everyday consumer goods and ancient fetish objects. It collects itself around theological ideas from primitive religions and everyday objects that attempt to create a contemporary religion, as well as its symbolic system.
Bio of TIANZHUO CHEN
Tianzhuo Chen finds familiarity dangerous. Born in 1985 in Beijing, he is a multi-disciplinary mixed-media artist based in London and Beijing whose ongoing project is to create temporary temples in many different places by transforming galleries and public spaces into places of worship. By doing so, he aims to question the brokenness of contemporary life. He was educated in the UK (MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Design, 2009, and BA Graphic Design, Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, 2010) and exhibits there and in China.
By SOAZIC GUEZENNEC (France)
Guezennec’s inspiration comes from her environment, which she likes extreme. In 2002, she traveled across Africa for one year as part of a search for modern nomadism. A trek in the Himalayas inspired a video of a melting mountain. An expedition in Amazonia resulted in a series of paintings of red forest. A mermaid falling into the twilight zone tells her experience of deep dives in the ocean. Since her move to Mumbai, she has explored the frontline between urbanization and nature, and creates sculptures and installations which are focusing both on the fragility and resilience of nature in an urban environment.
Her work combines a poetic vision with a sense of threat that draws the viewer in on both an emotive and intellectual level. Although beautiful, her pieces are nonetheless full of political meaning and aim at rousing the ecological awareness of the viewer.
In her installation, she hangs oxygen masks to a medical metallic base and braids the pipes as lianas, so that the masks look like leaves, and the pipes like a banyan tree trunk. The tree is “enlightened” and drops its shadows on the wall. The spectator is invited to put a mask on and breathe.
Bio of SOAZIC GUEZENNEC
French artist Soazic Guezennec lives and works in Mumbai. Her work has been praised for its “deep ecological sensibility” and concern about the planet’s survival and future, expressed through paintings, videos, and installations that explore the tension between nature and urbanization. Born in 1971 and educated at the Ateliers des Beaux Arts in Paris, she has exhibited in many European countries as well as the USA, Japan, Korea, India, Mexico and the Caribbean. She also traveled across Africa by bush taxi in 2002 as part of an artistic search for modern nomadism.
The Ocean is Our Future
By BLAUSCHIMMER ARTIST GROUP (Germany)
Landlocked Nepal gets a glimpse of the shimmering ocean in a piece that stirs up thoughts of the sea as our shared global heritage, its future development and the threat of climate change. The artwork is created from 12 pieces that come together as one large painting. The group members took turns either painting the background or painting and drawing on layers of transparent polythene. To enhance immediacy and connectedness with the sea, they used material directly from nature, such as seawater and sea algae.
Bio of BLAUSCHIMMER ARTIST GROUP
Kiel-based German artists Corinna Kraus-Naujeck and Kerstin Mempel have worked together as the Blauschimmer Artist Group since 2008, taking part in national and international exhibitions. The name, which means Blue Shimmer, serves the artists’ desire to network, provide mutual assistance and engage in exchange. The name implies, among other things, working and living near the sea. They see drawing as the foundation of their work and perception as the foundation of drawing.
The Rape and the Product
By PROBIR GUPTA (INDIA)
The “Rape & the Product” examines & interprets two aspects of human violence 1. The “conflict Zones of massacre” (responsible for loss of lives & nature) 2.The mass production of toxic, non-biodegradable & non destructible materials. Like two sides of the same coin they provide a trajectory of mass elimination of lives & loss of traditional means of livelihood. Strategies targeting agricultural land have clinically erased fertility of lands causing starvation.
Rape is a narrative of the “conflict Zones” & focuses on a passage from Nagasaki, Hiroshima to the 26/11 Mumbai massacre. The sculpture records the confessions of one of the Mumbai killers: “I wanted to feed my family” A portrayal of an industry that inducts people to wage war, based on brainwashing required for recruitment of people living below the poverty line. “ i wanted to feed my family” reflects in the phallic steel chimney constructed of food carrying boxes in steel (tiffin boxes) with two microphones recording perversion, desperation & power.
The Product an enlarged “shit pot” is an outright critique of ignorance & disregard. It is a comparison to a child’s play capturing the “hatching & planning” that goes on while releasing waste...
Bio of PROBIR GUPTA
Artist and activist Probir Gupta practiced a refined form of abstract painting for many years until, in the mid-1990s; he began to address the subjects of human rights, class and communal tensions, and labor relations through art. In all his recent works, he seeks to address issues of urgent relevancy to India and the world by weaving together painting, sculpture, video, photography and installation. He has exhibited across India as well as Austria and Hungary. Born in 1960 in Kolkata and trained in both India and Paris, Gupta lives and works in New Delhi. INDIA
Future Compass Under Your Feet
By ICHI IKEDA (Japan)
March 11, 2011. Japan is hit by an earthquake and enormous tsunami. We are shocked that the earth, our water planet, is moving under our feet. You become aware; you see that water is a substance that does not conform to your will. It has an essence that communicates and signals something important: awareness of a sustainable future must be found not in the distance, but under our feet. People must not become climate change refugees, but inhabitants on this water planet.
Climate change arrives in various ways: rising sea levels, torrential downpours, floods, droughts. Most of these indications bear a relation to water systems. People can become conscious of climate change through water itself or the water systems that surround our daily life, making water a media of awareness. This artwork consists of two main components. One part is a series of photos that show people coexisting with water. As you see them, imagine water systems under your feet.
Another component consists of boots and shoes covered with sand or soil. Shoes kicked off for living with water? For a serious drought? FUTURE COMPASS under your feet is a hypothetical compass presenting us with a new direction for our voyageinto the future.
Bio of ICHI IKEDA
Japanese artist Ichi Ikeda has dedicated his career to raising global awareness around water issues through community activism, international conferences, public performances and interactive installations. In addition to numerous international exhibits, he was selected in 1995 as one of 12 global artists who composed the art calendar commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations. In a 2008 UN seminar where he spoke as one of seven environmental artists selected from around the world, Ikeda stressed the importance of takinga “Water’s-Eye View” as we work towards an ecologically sustainable future. He was born in 1943 in Osaka.
Peak of Communism
By EROBOSSYN MELDIBEKOV (Kazakhstan)
Peak of Communism was inspired by a story about a mountain peak in Tajikistan that has been renamed six times. The tallest mountain peaks of the USA. Were all located in Central Asia. In the 1930s, the tallest peak, the Peak of Garm, was renamed Peak of Stalin. After Stalin’s death, it was renamed Peak of Communism. After the fall of the USA. it was named Somoni Peak after the hero of Tajikistan. All those names were only the latest for a mountaintop that had once been known as Peak Uz-Tergi and Peak of Peter the Great.
The absurdity of this situation is expressive of the state of contemporary Central Asia, which ranges from Stalin-style communist inertia to the constant deformation and mutation of Afghanistan. Every five years, Kyrgyzstan experiences a state coup reminiscent of Afghan internecine warfare. After the death of Turkmenistan’s president, his golden monuments were dismantled and replaced by ones to the new president.
Central Asia’s ideological landscape is expressed in fragments of deformed Soviet metal, enamel, plumbing and dishware. The project looks at the changes within Central Asia, a region where a regular mountaintop can be immersed in the atmosphere of absurdism.
Bio of EROBOSSYN MELDIBEKOV
The work of Erbossyn Meldibekov is informed by the "collapse of culture" in post-Soviet Central Asia and his native Kazakhstan, with its political and social disarray. He also examines the collapse of civility within a post 9/11 environment, referencing on-going conflicts and drawing on Central Asia's epic past. His ideas are deployed through media such as video, performance, architecture and installation, offering his viewers absurd, heroic and humorous visual interpretations of human interplay. Born in 1964 in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, he graduated from the Almaty Theater and Art Institute and lives and works in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Lullaby to the Mother Earth
Action Caused By an Existence
By Enkhjargal Ganbat (Mongolia): NOMAD WAVE PERFORMANCE
Lullaby to the Mother Earth
For ancient people, the philosophy of living was connected closely to nature and the earth. Today, the ways we live and the problems we face with nature draw us, unconsciously, to return to our ancestors’ hearts and minds, and accept that nature has its soul, too. Our performance blends the traditional and cultural sensibilities of Mongolian nomads with elements redone artistically in contemporary ways. The intention of the performance is to rekindle people’s love for nature and the earth, from which many of us, in modern society, are too separated. Before it is too late, it is time to give love and attention we have always received from earth and nature back to its source. If not us, then who…?.
Action Caused by an Existence
A human is a creature of nature, but also a product of society. Every living creature's existence causes actions. Even though we have to play different roles and wear multiple masks, let’s walk on the right path and leave brighter, cleaner marks behind us and within ourselves in distance called “life.”
The “old” Mongolian alphabet was in wide use until Mongolia was taught for political reasons to use Cyrillic letters. The conquest of others, if not by power and war then silently, by culture and tradition, which includes language and letters, has occurred in many countries’ histories. The era of rapid globalization means that nations with small populations easily lose their essential philosophy, traditions - and, basically, who they are. This work reminds people not to forget the great traditions and cultures of their nations; to keep their own identification. Without knowing where you came from, would you know where to step next? Who would you become? Would it be good if, after many years, everyone thinks, acts, and exists in the same way? By then, where will we find the “difference” that attracts us, and that makes the world and life so colorful and rich? As art is for all humankind, this concept is not only put out for Mongolians.
Bio of Enkhjargal Ganbat
Enkhjargal Ganbat (Eya) is a Mongolian contemporary artist and founder of Nomad Wave Art Group. She graduated from the institute of Fine Art in Ulaanbaatar in 2005 with a Painting degree and has recently returned to the art scene with new performance and installation art works.
Climate Change Connects to
Many Health Outcomes
By ASHA DANGOL (NEPAL)
Besides environmental and economic damage, climate change takes a toll on our most precious resource: human lives and health. In my concept, I have created a dash-avatar (10-headed incarnation) that includes the heads of gods, humans and animals. All these characters are taking an inhaler (nebulizer) of oxygen from an oxygen cylinder.
My work focuses on the impact of climate change on health and connects it to many health issues, including illness and death related to temperature; the health effects of extreme weather and air pollution; water and food-borne diseases; vector-borne and rodent-borne diseases; and the effects of food and water shortages and population displacement. All of these outcomes are incorporated in the face of the Nagaraj.
Bio of AHSA DANGOL
Asha Dangol is a visual artist who depicts the fusion of folk art, tantric religion, old scripts and secular images and deconstructs the binary opposition of sacred and profane. In his work, sacred images encompass the external mundane world, while nature and the physical world integrate religious icons, images and symbols. Through his lines and color, he expresses misery and mystery. A founder member of Kasthamandap Art Studio and member of the Board of Director of the online art gallery E-Arts Nepal, he uses ceramics, mixed media and paintings to convey his ideas.
He was the winner of the 2006 National Art Exhibition organized by the Nepal Association of Fine Arts, won the Gold Medal in 2003 from Arniko Yuwa Sewa Kosh, and received theBest Award at the National Film Festival in 2005. In addition to nine solo exhibitions in Nepal, his works have been exhibited in Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, France, Germany, Bangladesh, Belgium, South Korea, Holland and the United States.
Cooked and Sold People
By GOPAL DAS SHRESTHA (KALAPREMI) (NEPAL)
A stove is being heated to a high temperature. Inside the stove, sculptures made by viewers and the artist are being fired. They resemble works from the Stone Age. Outside the stove, fired sculptures are lined up.
The sound of firing; the color of high temperature; the reflection of fire on the inquisitive faces of viewers and in the environment. All of these things are part of this artwork.
Life is earth. Some kill it, create with it, educate, color and give it a name, status and label. It is then decorated to be sold. The game of selling and buying then begins and continues until death.
The literal translation of Pakdai Bikdai Gayeko Manche Haru is “people who are being cooked and sold.”
Bio of GOPAL DAS SHRESTHA (KALAPREMI)
Gopal Das Shrestha (Kalapremi) is an award-winning Kathmandu-based ceramic artist. He has exhibited widely, written about ceramic and sculpture techniques, and participated in exhibits, workshops and residencies in Nepal and abroad. He is a lecturer at Kathmandu University’s Centre for Art and Designand has also lectured at Jeonju University, South Korea.
Melting Identity, The Socio-Cultural and
Eco-Geological Identity Threat
Eco-Geological Identity Threat
By JUPITER PRADHAN (Nepal)
A human torso melts in the heat like a glacier. Cast with paraffin wax into the form of a candle, placed on a traditional lotus-shaped clay tub, and kept continuously lit during the exhibit, its shape changes day by day, like the shapes of melting Himalayan glaciers. Other torsos hold ambulance lights, a symbol of the emergency situation of global warming and climate change.
This artwork aims to raise awareness of global warming and draw parallels between threats to the earth and threats to the socio-cultural and eco-geological identities of the people who inhabit it.
Bio of Jupiter Pradhan
Jupiter Pradhan is a multi-media Nepali artist whose artistic expressions include performance, video, painting and crafts. He has had solo exhibits in Kathmandu and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan, and his work has been included in group exhibitions in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Japan. Art residencies have taken him to Japan and South Korea. Pradhan, who is also active as a curator and organizer of arts events, holds a BFA in Painting from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu (2005) and an MFA in Painting from the University of Development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2009).
We Are On The Way To Death
By MEKHA BAHADUR LIMBU SUBBA (Nepal)
Human activities and rapid population growth have affected our ecosystem, warmed the earth and changed our climate. Since human activity is the main reason for climate change, I have chosen population growth and human activity as the theme of my artwork. I try to show how people’s needs, such as the number of vehicles, increases with the number of people. We are already forced to wear masks on the roads because of vehicle exhaust. Rivers have been polluted with sewage, while their sources have dried up due to deforestation. On one level, my work addresses water problem due to drought; on another level, it speaks about the ways that human activities contribute to global warming.
Bio of MEKHA BAHADUR LIMBU SUBBA
Born and raised in Dhankuta in Eastern Nepal, 27-year-old Mekha Bahadur Limbu Subba is an emerging artist who has exhibited widely in Nepal and has participated in numerous group exhibits and workshops. He has an MFA (2012) and BFA (2008) from Tribhuvan University and is also an animator and illustrator.
By SHEELASHA RAJBHANDARI (Nepal)
Ghost, noun: A mental representation of some haunting experience, the visible disembodied soul of a dead person, a suggestion of some quality My project Ghost River is about the dislocation of water caused by population, pollution and global climate change. My focus is my home town Kathmandu and areas of Nepal where there is risk of glacial lake outburst floods. My work connects humans’ past action with present space and its future consequences in nature and human life. It is believed that ghosts occur when a body is dead but continues to wander, disturbing living things. The rivers of Kathmandu and beyond are dead. People are too busy to remember the dead; everybody is busy fulfilling their personal aims, living their dream, ignoring their guilty consciousness that they are the very cause of the rivers’ death. But the ghost of the rivers will come back to haunt us.
Bio of SHEELASHA RAJBHANDARI
Sheelasha Rajbhandari is a Nepali artist who has been active in projects such as the collaborative art projects Future of History and Artist in the City and participated in exhibits in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, including the 14th Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh. Her awards include First Prize for Sculpture in the 2011 National Art Competition organized by the National Art Academy. Rajbhandari also worked on the art crew of the film Kathmandu Song.
Where Am I?
By SAURGANGA DARSHANDHARI (Nepal)
Today, a huge amount of change has occurred in a lot of things. Accordingly, my needs and demands increase day by day. In order to fulfill those needs and maintain my individuality, I created many techniques, as a result of which I have polluted the earth’s atmosphere. Furthermore, in present days we have invented weapons and machines for our security. Yet no matter how much I do or what I do, I cannot go away from this planet. My steps may progress, but no matter how many steps I take, I will remain on this earth. No matter how suffocating or painful, the atmosphere’s changes pursue me wherever I go. And no matter how far I go, I cannot go any farther than my own land. I will remain herewith my energy.
Bio of SAURGANGA DARSHANDHARI
Saurganga Darshandhari is a visual artist and printmaker based in Kathmandu. She has shown frequently in Nepal, exhibited and had residencies in Bangladesh, South Korea and Sri Lanka and also exhibitedin India. She holds a BFA in Fine Arts from Tribhuvan University and MFA in Printmaking from the Universityof Development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Born in Nepal in 1980, Darshandhari teaches printmaking at Tribhuvan University. She is a founder member member of Bindu, a space for artists.
Earth: Body: Mind
Earth, body and mind seem different, but are interrelated. The earth is the source of life and the core of our creative journey. It acts as a platform and contains varied forms and thoughts. The body participates in the voyage and the physical activity of creation. Communication and visual interpretations are colored by the creative vibes of the journey within each personality.
Our mind controls our body and our attitudes towards the earth. As art cannot be defined and the mind itself fluctuates, the definition of art is different within different personalities.
This title indicates both the beginning and the end of the voyage for all living and non-living forms. Throughout our voyage, we are occupied by the cultural aspects of life, which act here as the artwork and its supportive elements, such as hay, normally used as animal fodder, and white cotton cloth, which is needed for rituals from the beginning of life till the end.
Bio of SAGAR MANANDHAR
Sagar Manandhar is a native of Kathmandu, Nepal, where he was born in 1985 and whose metropolitan flag he designed after winning a contest at the age of 17. He received his BFA and MFA in Fine Arts from Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India, winning a gold medal each time, and is now a lecturer at the Centre for Art and Design at the School of Arts of Kathmandu University. Manandhar has had nine solo exhibit and many group shows in Nepal and abroad.
By MEENA KAYASTHA (NEPAL)
My work is a symbolic representation of human action on the environment. Life is a race. As the world is getting more advanced, people knowingly or unknowingly are destroying the environment for their comfort – whether they are businessmen, scientists, actors, engineers, beggars, or whoever they are. As an artist, it’s a responsibility to relay the message about how one can be a part of preserving the environment from global warming. I’m doing my bit through my artwork to extend the message by adopting junk material and transforming it into a new life.
Bio of MEENA KAYASTHA
Nepali sculptor Meena Kayastha, a graduate of Kathmandu University, has exhibited in Nepal, including a recent solo exhibit at Siddhartha Art Gallery, and at the Biennale Art Exhibition, Bangladesh. Her transformation of junk into sculpture has been called “boldly Dada-esque,” with a “breathtaking originality” in the context of Nepali art. Also a creative art director, Kayastha has participated in art projects, workshops and installations in various media and has work represented in private collections.
By SUDARSHAN RANA (NEPAL)
I am attempting to show nature as a sculpture that is weeping and shouting. Several faces are shouting out from a wooden log, but their voices are bound: by chains, by burning doors, by iron. There is life in the log. There is life in nature. Yet we are treating it like a dead object.
Bio of SUDARSHAN RANA
Sudharshan Rana is a painter, sculptor and animator with a number of awards to his credit, including First Prize in Sculpture in the 2006 Annual National Art Exhibition organized by the Nepal Association of Fine Arts (NAFA) and First Prize in Sculpture at the 1999 Grand Art Exhibition organized by the Nepal Arts Council.
Global Warming: Part of Our Lives
By SUMEET SHAKYA (Nepal)
Where do we stand? People create products, but overlook the environment. We are full of plans for short-term benefit, yet every action has an equal and opposite reaction. On the one hand, products like plastic make life easy, comfortable and even luxurious, but also create pollution and ruin the world around us. So ask yourself: Where do we really stand?
Rooms for reservation. Nature is a gift of God. Our unplanned acts lead to climate change and destroy the beauty of nature. In this picture, Pokhara’s beautiful lakeside is challenged by the city’s garbage. Nepal depends on tourism, but garbage and pollution is destroying its beauty.
Imagine you are standing by a beautiful lake with a smelly environment. Hindu tradition sees the crow as a messenger of the netherworld; those rigid bars are rooms. In which room are we living? We are ruining our pride and destroying the economy by ourselves. Global warming to warning. The loss of lives and property, poverty, reduced crop yields, displacement, epidemics, food and water scarcity – all of these problems result from human activities. In this picture, the locals of Chitwan are using rivers to wash clothes and do other daily activities. But it is also used by other living beings. Our actions directly affect our health; nature bounces the impact of our actions back to us.
Bio of SUMEET SHAKYA
Photographer Shakya is active in photojournalism and community art projects, including street murals for social change. He is founder of The Image Park and serves as the Kathmandu Bureau Chief for the Asia! Mag, senior photographer at NepalMandal.com and senior photographer at Nations Youth and Student Association of Nepal, along with other activities as a photojournalist. He served as event coordinator for UNICEF’s Global Handwashing Day 2012 Mural Street in Kathmandu and coordinates the We Make the Nation mural street art series in Kathmandu.
By ERNA ANEMA (Netherlands)
As a child, I grew up in the Netherlands, near empty countryside and close to the sea. Clouds would approach, mass together then disappear again. These images were fascinating because they were ever changing. Perpetual dynamics!
Some of these shapes were more interesting than others, and I found the fleeting glimpses and infinite associations fascinating to watch. These images became meaningful to me.
Later, I trekked through Nepal. The metaphorical and physical highlight was when I reached the top of a high mountain close to the Tibetan border. The contrast between the flat, low countryside of the Netherlands and the steep highlands of Nepal was an inspiration.
Again, for me the visual power of nature –ice and snow, water and clouds – is an event, not an appearance. It influences my thoughts and my movements, and also my breathing, the higher up I go. My breathing has become visible in my abstract paintings. The canvases are painted flat on the ground; I let the brush do the work on the rhythm of my breathing.
At the same time, I am researching the essence of painting: the border between surface and color.The moment that the differential becomes greater than the similarity is when contours become visible. And contours create form.
Bio of ERNA ANEMA
Erna Anema is a Dutch painter whose work has been exhibited in The Netherlands, England, Japan, New Zealand and Nepal. Anema is a teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam and started the exchange program of Netherlands and Nepalese Art students, IN BETWEEN.
By SJOERD BUISMAN (Netherlands)
He might, for instance, hang a plant upside-down to see the leaves grow upward after a certain period, or tie a knot in a young willow tree and record how the tree developed in the course of time. Some of his large-scale projects have included a beech palisade consisting of 250 beech trees pushed into a form within a wooden frame. In all these artworks, the factor of time plays a large role. The artist imposes his will on nature in the knowledge that someday, nature will once again pursue her own rampant course. Buisman has also been influenced by his observation of the growth of plants in the Philippines, Venezuela and Indonesia.
Bio of SJOERD BUISMAN
Born in 1948, Buisman is a Dutch artist who lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and La Ferrière-Duval, Normandy, France. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo shows in Germany and Spain as well as the Netherlands, and he has exhibited extensively in major group exhibitions across Europe, including Latvia, Belgium and Austria.
A Tree of Hope
|A Tree of Hope|
By WARFFEMIUS (Netherlands)
Nature and trees have always been a major influence in my work. I first introduced these elements into my paintings and drawings in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2004 that I produced my first steel and bronze artworks. Using minimal and sober shapes, my aim is to achieve an image that burns itself into your mind. I love simple, strong shapes that are bold yet elegant. I see my trees as a connection between heaven and earth, the spiritual and the earthly. The “tree” in this work is a collage of steel wire and scrap steel material, built in collaboration with local craftspeople. It ends in a series of funnels that collect energy, water and hope.
Bio of WARFFEMIUS
Dutch artist Piet Warffemius, of the Hague, is a painter, sculptor, graphic artist and ceramist whose work is in numerous collections, including businesses, ministries, the Museum Kruithuis in s’Hertogenbosch and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ethiopia. He has been visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Born in 1956, he is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Hague, the Netherlands.
By FRAZ ABDUL MATEEN (Pakistan)
I think we have systematic relationships with Nature. Water and coastal issues is the most critical in our city because this indicates unsustainable ecological practices. Coastal animal’s Working in communities encourages me to make a comparison with human community.
I think this idea can be use to make people concern that emergence of human urban culture is fading our natural life and we as a human most intelligent and responsible animal on earth are becoming egocentric. I am carving layers of stacked books and Urban Life Style Magazines. These layers of papers would depict the thick and soft layer of waste, caused by urban lifestyle, human demands and expansion of human society. Ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems but I am using term Ego-logical Footprints (rather than ecological footprint) to measure the balance in our created or natural environment.
Bio of FRAZ ABDUL MATEEN
Based in Karachi, Pakistan, Fraz Abdul Mateen, born in 1982, majored in Sculpture at Karachi School of Art (2006) and is currently a faculty member at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Diverse mediums like clay, papers, wood, digital and Mix Media installation are of special interest to him. He was a part of the NuktaArt residency on Ecology in 2009 and has participated in shows at VM Art Gallery, IVS Gallery, Art Council of Pakistan and Art Chowk Gallery. His work is in collections at home and abroad.
By NAMEERA AHMED (Pakistan)
The image is Pollock-esque: a dark canvas, or so it seems, with splashes of paint. But as the video rolls, a gory aspect is revealed. The ‘canvas’ is a drum in which chickens are slaughtered.
The video is juxtaposed with an audio extract from a popular cooking show in Karachi, with the voice of a young female host describing how delicious the chicken strips are. A very quick voiceover informs us of the recipe. With references to the surrealist Georges Franju’s 1949 documentary “Le Sang Des Betes” (The Blood of the Beasts), this video artwork focuses on chicken slaughter for food. The work aims to make the viewer re-think the high consumption of genetically modified chicken as a major source of cheap meat in developing countries. The chicken slaughter acts as a metaphor of over-consumption and profiteering, which has created a crisis of earth, body and soul by destabilizing the planet’s ecology.
Bio of NAMEERA AHMED
Nameera Ahmed is a Karachi-based visual artist and filmmaker. Her artworks have been showcased at the Transmediale, Berlinwith its theme ‘Deep North’ reflecting upon global climate change; the MohattaPalace Museum’s ‘Rising Tide’ exhibit, Karachi; the Arts Council Karachi, as part of the Visiting Arts UK and NuktaArt artists’ environmental project 1mile²; and at the V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi. Her films have had international screenings in Italy, Germany, Iran, Brazil, India, Qatar, Azerbaijan, The Netherlands, the USA.and Pakistan, covering themes from heritage and culture to music and spirituality, education, social issues, and the environment. She also writes for the Leonardo Reviews Leonardo/ISAST) and Nukta Art Magazine, Pakistan, and teaches at Karachi University as well as the South Asian Academy of Motion Picture and Television (SAAMPT).
By JOSEPHINE LLAMAS TURALBA (PHILIPPINES)
"Fields Dwell" is a collaborative project that draws from several cultures and the research of two artists, Turalba of the Philippines and Khaled Hafez of Egypt. In part, it envisions a goddess of the field in Nepal and juxtaposes her with Diwata, the goddess of the fields in the Philippines.
It looks at elements of nature and industrialization and tackles notions of identity, environment, energy, nature conservation, and the mystic influence of Nepalese culture. Inspired in part by Nepalese writings about the female body, it also ties into local tales from the Philippines and Egypt from the time of those countries’ colonization.
The multi-pronged work includes a video project in which Turalba, in a sculptural dress created for the piece, builds a narrative around issues of climate change and the environment. It also incorporates a photo and drawing project created in residency in Nepal that looks at the poetic external landscape of Kathmandu with its fields, mountains, and changing landscape. Turalba is responsible for the film’s concept, choreography, performance and sculpture, while Hafez wrote the script and did the camera work and post-production editing.
Bio of JOSEPHINE LLAMAS TURALBA
Turalba is an interdisciplinary installation artist from Manila, the Philippines, who incorporates video, sculpture, performance and sound into her artworks to explore issues of violence, migration, wealth, power and identity. Her projects take a visceral approach to the politics of violence, focusing on personal trauma and depicting a place where empathy translates into healing. Her works have been exhibited at the 12th Cairo Biennale, Egypt; the Santorini Biennale, Greece, 2012; La Cinematheque Francaise, Paris, France 2012; and museums and art centers in Taiwan, the U.K., Germany and the Philippines. Khaled Hafez was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1963, where he lives and works. Through painting, video, photography, installation and interdisciplinary work, he explores elements of local identity exposed to the global consumer goods culture and uses irony to probe notions of subjugation, equal rights, games of wealth and power and changing social politics.
His work has been shown in major museums and galleries in Greece; Denmark; Brazil; Belgium; Paris, France; London, UK and New York City, USA.
By JUYONG LEE (South Korea)
The stones I met at a quiet riverside keep the memories of the upper region of the river. I am collecting these memories. Another memory can be found among those rising memories and can be altered by the appearance of still other memories. Eventually these fragmentary shapes are part of a whole, which includes many experiences.
Bio of JUYONG LEE
Juyong Lee is a South Korean photographed with a master’s degree in holography and a bachelor’s in science photography from the Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California, USA. Lee has exhibited this year in Istanbul, Turkey; Shanghai, China; and Kathmandu’s Siddhartha Art Gallery, and has also exhibited in South Korea, Taiwan and in a 2008 solo exhibit at the New York Holocenter in New York City, USA.
Wishes, Lies and Dreams
Between Mind and Heart...
By SARAWUT CHUTIWONGPETI (Thailand)
|Wishes, Lies and Dreams|
Heat, light, and electricity are examples of the instability of energy. The separation of each type of energy reveals a mere combination of different substances. This piece largely deals with dimension in space and silence. Time is the core element of spiritual existence. Between the world of dimensions and the world of silence stand humanity, relying on the subconscious and treating it as "true perception." The outside element is the atmosphere -- the intersection of time and space. When one imagines looking back into the past, the existence of space has halted; while we stand at the intersection of time and space, we exist in the present.
Bio of SARAWUT CHUTIWONGPETI
Sarawut Chutiwongpeti has contributed to the development of the media arts through his artistic and research practices at noted international institutions in Canada, the United States of America, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Egypt, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Born in 1970, he graduated in 1996 from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University and works as a full time contemporary artist.
By CHRIS DRURY (UK)
To this end, he collaborates with scientists and technicians from a broad spectrum of disciplines and uses whatever visual means, technologies and materials seem best suited to the situation. Drury has worked with small communities and has exhibited worldwide for over 30 years; his work is featured in many key surveys of land art in Europe and the USA.
Bio of CHRIS DRURY
Chris Drury has been described as a Land Artist, but views himself more as a creator of connections. He has created outdoorbased work all over Europe and America, with recent projects involving a British Antarctic Survey residency in Antarctica in 2007 and a solo exhibition Mushroom|Clouds at the Nevada Museum of Art in 2008. His work includes ephemeral assemblies of natural material, landscape art, works on paper, sculpture, and indoor installations. He was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
By DAVID NASH (UK)
The wooden boulder is a simple basic shape cut just enough to hint that it has been intentionally formed. For 25 years I have followed its engagement with the weather, gravity and the seasons. It became a stepping-stone into the drama of physical geography. Spheres imply movement and initially I helped it to move, but after a few years I observed it only intervening when absolutely necessary – when it became wedged under a bridge.
In volume the boulder has remained the same in appearance, gradually changing to look more like a rock, the crisp edges rounding with erosion and its surface aging. The drawing maps the journey of 25 years 1978-2003. At any given moment the boulder is a mark in time. During the first 24 years it moved down stream nine times remaining static for months and years. Sedentary and heavy it would sit bedded in stones animated by the varying water levels and the seasons. Beyond the bridge its position survived many storms, the force of the water spread over the shallow banks did not have the power to shift it. I did not expect it to move into the Dwyryd river in my lifetime.
Then in November 2002 it was gone. The ‘goneness’ was palpable. The storm propelled the boulder 5 kilometres, stopping on a sandbank in the Dwryd estuary. Now tidal, it became very mobile. The high tides around full moon and the new moon moved it every 12 hours to a new place, each placement unique to the consequence of the tide, wind, rain and depth of water.
In January 2003 it disappeared from the estuary but was found again in a marsh. An incoming tide had taken it up a creek, where it stayed for five weeks. The equinox tide of March 19 2003 was high enough to float it back to the estuary where it continued its movement back and forth 3 or 4 kilometres each move.
The wooden boulder was last seen in June 2003 on a sandbank near Ynys Giftan. All creeks and marshes have been searched so it can only be assumed it has made its way to the sea. It is not lost. It is wherever it is.
Bio of DAVID NASH
David Nash is a British sculptor who works with wood, trees and the natural environment. Best known for engaging with wood and shaping living trees, he also makes land art and sculptures. His work has been included in numerous key sculpture exhibitions internationally over the last four decades. Elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1999 and awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2004, Nash has had numerous exhibitions devoted to his work around the world, including this year’s David Nash at Kew Gardens. He lives and works in North Wales.
By ALEKSANDRA CHCIUK (Poland)Hipnosis:
This series is a highly minimal portrayal of the wanderings of a group of people. In winter, they become as transparent as the wilderness. People and nature merge into one picture, making it hard to discern one from the other.
This series shows how a landscape is changed by light and time of day. When we begin to notice the subtle variations of nature's forms and feel her sheer immensity, our relationship with our surroundings becomes more personal. This is a step toward grasping a fact that sounds almost paradoxical: that nature, in all its vastness, is ultimately vulnerable to the behavior of humans.
Bio of ALEKSANDRA CHCIUK
Polish photographer Aleksandra Chciuk, born in 1985, currently studies photography at the National Film School in Lodz, Poland as well as working in painting, sounds and installations. She uses photography to seek the answer to her question: How does the presence of humanity define the environment, and how does the environment shape people in turn?
My Ancestral Dress
By PALA POTHUPITIYE (Sri Lanka)
|My Ancestral Dress|
I carry with me a memory of life in the village and life in the town. The situations and incidents I have gone through during that time had an impact on my mind and body. I look back at those experiences through the material world that exists around me. In other words, my material world is the result of the likes and dislikes that have taken root inside me unconsciously. The night city with its neon lights and colorful plastic objects that overwhelms the city racks have enticed me aesthetically. The knick–knacks and colorful waste that fills the city corners have influenced my aesthetics. The rainbow colored outer world has constructed my inner world. These aesthetics of mine began to connect with the traditional dress that my father wears for ritual dances. The sound of movement and the reflecting colors in his traditional dress fuse the past and the present. I have tried to capture the essence of this in my work, and in the process new meanings and interpretations get constructed and are fixed in a contemporary context.
Bio of PALA POTHUPITIYE
Coming from a background of traditional craft artists and ritual specialists, Pothupitiye Acharige Somapla (Pala Pothupitiye) incorporates and reinterprets the material and philosophical contents of traditional art in his work, which is often thoughtful and subtly political. Born in 1972 and educated at Colombo’s Visual and Performance Art University, he was named Best Artist of the Year and awarded First Palace in Sculpture (State Art Festival, Sri Lanka, 2003) and has exhibited widely, including the 3rd Fukuoka Triennial (Japan, 2005). A visiting lecturer at the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, he lives and works in Colombo.
(The Sacred Mother)
By ANG TSHERIN SHERPA (USA)
My project will communicate current Nepalese environmental issues using the language found in the contemporary art world. My technique embraces the rich tradition of artistic technique found in Nepal combined with mixed media styling that has evolved in western art history. This juxtaposition creates a sense of interconnectedness on a global scale.
The Himalayan region contains one of the most awe-inspiring landmarks in the world, Mt. Everest. Across the world, it is seen as a symbol of man’s achievement of ascent against the forces of nature. The Sherpa people view the mountain as a living deity. But as global warming increases, changes are beginning to appear that will eventually effect the world’s population. Climbers are noticing rocks along the summit at times when only snow appeared.
This piece is a call to consciousness to our current situation as protectors of this region. I hope to reconnect with the local audience to bring awareness around this issue.
Bio of ANG TSHERIN SHERPA
Ang Tsherin Sherpa of Oakland, California, USA, began his artistic exploration with study of traditional Tibetan thangka paintings in the 1980s. Now a US-based contemporary artist, his work has been written about in numerous publications, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, USA; exhibited nationally and internationally in the UK, Italy, India, Singapore, China; and is represented in prominent museum and private collections. He has also studied Buddhist philosophy under various Buddhist masters in Nepal.
Strong as Paper
Strong as Paper
If I have to describe how we deal with the constant negotiation with life, I always refer to the Taoist aphorism that says we have to be "strong as an oak and flexible as bamboo.” As paper comes from wood, like the two trees in the aphorism, I have chosen to use it in the most delicate form possible: a very thinly cut piece of paper from a page of an old book.
The books I used are related to "Everything is True, Everything is False" from Calderon de la Barca, a Spanish author, poet and dramaturge of the 1600s. Having found these and other texts destroyed by termites, I have cut thin pieces of the pages in order to paste them again forming a reticulate. They’re-doing' of the book with the very small particles is a metaphor of reconstruction.
Geisha Spirit of The East/Crisantemo /Both Worlds
Parades deals with issues of identity, women’s bodies, and the relationship between self and environment in elegant, mysterious works that embrace notions of camouflage, inclusion, and reinvention. She uses materials that range from body paint and makeup to thin pieces of ancient books, “redoing” her subjects into new forms.
Writing of one of her pieces in the show, Parades says, “If I have to describe how we deal with the constant negotiation with life, I always refer to the Taoist aphorism that says we have to be ‘strong as an oak and flexible as bamboo.’ As paper comes from wood, like the two trees in the aphorism, I have chosen to use it in the most delicate form they can come: a very thin cut piece of paper from a page of an old book.
“The books I used are related to "Everything is True, Everything is False" from Calderon de la Barca, a Spanish author, poet and dramaturge of the 1600s. Having found these and other texts destroyed by termites, I have cut thin pieces of the pages in order to paste them again forming a reticulate. The 're-doing' of the book with the very small particles is a metaphor of reconstruction.”
Bio of CECILIA PAREDES
Born in Lima, Peru, Cecilia Paredes studied Plastic Arts at the Catholic University of Lima and Cambridge Arts and Crafts School of England. She currently divides her time between San Jose, Costa Rica and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Paredes has exhibited across the USA, France, Spain and Italy as well as London, England; Oslo, Norway, Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Shades of Seeds and Melting Ice
By JYOTI DUWADI in collaboration with PAUL D. MILLER (aka DJ SPOOKY) (Nepal/ USA)
|Earth, Seeds, Grains, Vessels & Ice|
In the installation Shades of Seeds, richly colored seeds and grains are displayed on a cracked mud floor in mounds and in a variety of vessels as a metaphor for climate change and earth’s fragility. It touches on many ideas: the beauty of nature, the threat of genetic mutation and monoculture, the importance of nutrition, and the celebration of the harvest during Nepal’s Festival of Lights. The multitude of colors, shapes, and sizes of these precious seeds represent nature's complexity. Harbingers of life, they are now more vulnerable due to the corporatization of agriculture and climate change.
This piece honors Nepal’s rich farming tradition, which is dependent on the availability of fresh water, and reflects the value of preserving diversity in nature and culture. These two installations will hopefully inspire viewers to help mitigate the effects of our warming planet.
Bio of Artists
Jyoti Duwadi’s work expresses the spirit of nature and the dynamic energies of life through abstract forms and colors. Born into a family of poets and writers, Jyoti was exposed to art and literature while growing up in Darjeeling, Varanasi, and Kathmandu. After moving to the United States, he began creating multimedia work that reflects an intimate relationship with nature and the cultures of both North America and South Asia. The artist currently divides his time between his studio in Bellingham, Washington and Kathmandu, where he pioneered public art installations that address political, social, and environmental issues.
By MAUREEN DRDAK (USA)
Flying Nagas is the culmination of The Prakriti Project, my work in Nepal as 2011-12 Fulbright Senior Scholar, which established the first synthesis of repoussé and contemporary painting. Repoussé is a technique in which sheet metal is manipulated to create three-dimensional forms, and the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley are acknowledged masters of this increasingly rare art practice. In pursuit of the skills necessary for my work, I apprenticed myself to the grandson of the historically recognized master of the form, Rabindra Shakya of Ukubahal, Patan, whose family lineage dates to the late sixteenth century.
Flying Nagas is a visual commentary on environmental degradation in Nepal and the surrounding Himalayan region, an area now referred to as the “Third Pole,” by climatologists. In my work the Naga, the protector serpent deity of the Kathmandu Valley, represents the forces of the earth in acute distress. The imagery of the Naga--both an indigenous and universal symbol of the rains and water and the integration of opposites--provides the vehicle for visual commentary on climate change and environmental duress. The writhing, twisting forms of the serpents ascend, attempting to flee from the fouled and heated earth, while black plastic bags, bane of Kathmandu, swirl ominously about them, entangling and impeding their flight. Rushing down from their fragmented forms are torrents of crushed stone, the detritus of polluted waters. Their gilded skin streams in tatters, referencing the erosion of indigenous cultural values that once sustained them and the earth.
Bio of MAUREEN DRDAK
Maureen Drdak is an American global artist whose work is concerned with the contemporary visualization and convergence of universal archetypes and paradigms. Her work has taken her to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas, and is represented in public and private collections throughout the world. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of the Arts, recipient of numerous prestigious awards, residencies and solo exhibitions, she is the USA. 2011- 2012 Fulbright Fellow in Art for Nepal. Drdak’s Fulbright project marked her fifth trip to Nepal and the Himalayas.
By TREVOR AMERY (USA)
|Wood, Towel, Clothing, Audio|
I lived in Finland for two months in 2011 working on projects that investigated cultural catalysts for social space. I learned about the importance of the sauna in Finnish daily life as a social meeting place and I became fascinated with the idea of the sauna as an instigator for social exchange and serious discourse. I developed Portable Sauna as a way to understand these special phenomena and to share these experiences and discoveries.
During the exhibition the viewer is invited to enter the sauna and listen to conversations recorded in saunas from around the world. These recordings discuss personal accounts, memories, and ideas on how or why the environment has changed over the past 30 years. My goal for Portable Sauna is to re-create this important social space in a new context and instigate new conversations in as many locations, cultures, and environments as possible.
Bio of TREVOR AMERY
Trevor Amery is an American artist whose work has been exhibited across the USA as well as internationally in Finland, Estonia, France and Denmark. He holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, has studied abroad in Italy and Greece, and has completed artist residencies in Finland and Florida and New York in the USA. He is currently a Fulbright Grantee to Hungary and working as the Artist-In-Residence at the University of Pécs.
Haiti and Dominican Republic Border and Florida Everglades
By BLANE De St. CROIX (US)
|Ink and Cut Archival Digital Print on Paper on Canvas|
In the fall of 2010, I traveled to Haiti to explore the social, economic and political divisions through the vast diversity of landscape. Part of my research involved documenting the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti through aerial flyovers and on-the-ground site visits. The Dominican Republic has a lush green tropical forest and is economically thriving due to protection laws and robust tourism. In contrast, much of Haiti has a desolate landscape with vast areas of erosion and is now virtually treeless. Even pre-earthquake Haiti had no energy infrastructure, so the struggling population cut the trees to makes charcoal for heat and cooking. This lack of infrastructure is what made the effects of the earthquake so particularly devastating.
My collages/drawings depict this portion of the Haitian landscape. TreeLine: Haiti/Dominican Republic makes physically obvious the ecological division between the countries. Though often seductive at first glimpse, these landscapes are full of turmoil and discord.
The collages/drawings also address traditional and non-traditional ideas of landscape within historical and contemporary art, referencing historic drawing techniques, methods and processes through the study of landscape creation from both the east and the west.
Bio of BLANE De St. CROIX
Blane De St. Croix is an American artist based in Brooklyn, New York who works in sculptural objects, installation and drawing. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the UK, Ireland, Lithuania, Mongolia, and Japan. His awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, the Massachusetts College of ArtAlumni Award for Outstanding Creative Accomplishment and the PollockKrasner Foundation Grant, along with other international and national fellowships and artist residencies. His work is in numerous public and private collections and has been reviewed in Art in America, New York Magazine, The New York Times and others. He received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a B.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art.
Special thanks to: The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; The Lower East Side Printshop, NYC and Indiana University, Bloomington.
By BINOD SHRESTHA (Nepal/ USA)
|Fabric, Wood, Wire, Resin, Red Earth, Ritual Incense|
When a war ends, it is up to those who are left behind to pick up the pieces. The parties who pushed people to war – the politicians, the government, and many on the sidelines – have moved on. But the void created by violence and the scar left by the upheaval lingers in the collective psyche for years to come. This absence then becomes a presence in memory and in story.
This sculptural installation work uses a calf as a metaphor for the violence and senselessness of a war that has scarred the public psychic and changed the trajectory of the socio-political discourse in Nepal. I chose the image of a calf because of its symbolism and spiritual relationship in an agrarian society as well as its meaning within the dominant Hindu religion. In this work, the audience will find materials that meet in transitory states -- seemingly solid and substantial but also contemplative and ritualistic – and provoke a reflective conversation within the viewer.
Bio of BINOD SHRESTHA
Shrestha is a Nepali artist who has also exhibited extensively in the US, where he received his MFA in Drawing/Installation from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His work has been featured at solo shows at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum, Minneapolis (2012), Center for Emerging Visual Artist, Philadelphia (2011), and galleries in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Tallahassee, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Chico, California. He has participated in numerous group shows and won grants and fellowships from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, University of Tulsa and elsewhere. Shrestha also has an MFA in Painting/Art History from Bangalore University, Bangalore, India.
By GAYNOR O’FLYNN (UK)
KORA respects and incorporate the ancient wisdom of Buddhist teachings and their connection to ancient Hindu and Sanskrit wisdom while presenting that wisdom in a modern context, focusing on the core message of respect for the self, others and the environment. This work is created through the support of Nick Rothwell, Anna Tully, and Natalia Komis.
Bio of GAYNOR O’FLYNN
Gaynor O’Flynn works across disciplines, often with a public performance element at the core of her unique interactive work. She creates art that empowers and inspires social and inner change, working and collaborating across: sound, music, performance, paint, film and interactive technologies. Gaynor has worked and exhibited not only in galleries but also in unorthodox online, media, public and natural spaces worldwide for over 25 years. She is also an exponent of collaboration and is director of t.b.c, the being human collective.
Nick Rothwell is an experienced programmer who has worked collaboratively with many world-class artists and as an artist in his own right globally. He regularly works with the most respected arts institutions in the UK including Sadlers Wells, Welcome Trust, and the Tate.
Natalia Komis is a digital arts producer, marketeer, artist, curator & blogger. She will be documenting, coordinating & co creating digital engagement during the public art event. British photojournalist Anna Tully has worked for many international publications and organizations, including the International Herald Tribune, BBC, and UNICEF. Her work has been published in Newsweek, the Economist, TIME Magazine, the New York Times, and elsewhere. Images rooted in nature have become her prime interest. Tully is currently based in New Delhi, India.
By IBRAHEEM JAWABREH (Palestine)
Bio of IBRAHEEM JAWABREH
Ibraheem Jawabreh is a Ramallah-based visual artist born in 1985 in Aroub refugee camp, Palestine. He graduated from Al Quds University with a BA in Fine Arts. He has exhibited work internationally in Boston, London, Paris, Damascus, Cairo, Helsinki, Tokyo and Dubai. Trained as a printer, his work now relies on performance strategies and often engages public space.
More recently he has become interested in developing his body-based performance work with ideas connected to land art.
Touch of Gold
By MARIA ROOSEN (Netherlands)
I let things grow. I sow the seed and turn to other people to help grow the crop. I manage and guide the process; you could say I’m the artist with the green thumb. In this site-specific artwork, glass pieces from Europe “bud” from a tree in Kathmandu. The globe-spanning process is an integral part of the artistic concept: to bring self-made glass pieces and combine them with a piece of nature from Nepal.
This combines different energies: the artistic idea, guided by a Dutch sculptor, combines with the glass, which is made in the Czech Republic together with Czech glass blowers, until it all comes together in a sculpture in Nepal. Earth, Body, Mind.
Bio of MARIA ROOSEN
Maria Roosen is a Dutch sculptor who lives and works in Arnhem, the Netherlands, frequently using glass, wood, and other natural and found objects. She is the recipient of several awards for her entire body of work (Singer Prijs, 2009, and Wilhelminaring, 2006) and has had numerous solo exhibitions in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as exhibiting nationally and internationally at group shows in Europe and Kathmandu. Born in 1957, she graduated in 1983 from Arnhem Academy of Art and Design.
Infiltration of Darkness
By SUNIL SIGDEL (Nepal)
|Acrylic on Canvas|
Though human beings are generally sensitive and can comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of society, this realization varies between individuals. I feel that sensitivity, intellectuality, and equal economic conditions are absent in our society. Do we consider how our own social status may affect our thought process? Do we notice how much we are affected by the imbalance of intellectuality? Illiteracy and ignorance can give rise to stunted or erroneous ideas that can affect society and the nation as a whole. Even in developed countries, if leaders do not let go of their ego and succumb to disrespect, selfishness, anger and hatred, these colossal negative emotions can harm the whole world directly or indirectly.
At present we are facing an economic crisis, religious discrimination, political incompetence and harrowing environmental changes that threaten the core of our existence. I believe that our woes are created by a handful of people who hold key positions of power. It is these decision makers who unknowingly create the tragic backdrop of our lives. My present works deal with personal travails and angst -- the suffocation I am subjected or that society is subjected to -- at the hands of these unenlightened leaders.
Bio of SUNIL SIGDEL
Sunil Sigdel was born in 1978 in Pokhara, Nepal. His works involve socio-political crises in his country and the globe. Sigdel has had six solo exhibitions and a number of group exhibitions in Nepal and abroad, and has participated in workshops and residencies in Nepal, Scotland, India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Denmark and Pakistan. The recipient of several awards in the UK and Nepal, he is a freelance artist living and working in Pokhara.
My Expectation! My
Achievement! My Future!
By SUNITA MAHARJAN (Nepal)
|Acrylic on Canvas|
Home is a place where we can stand
Home is not only a concrete house that is made by humans
Home is where the mind settles
Home is a space of warmth
Home is a space where we can feel secure
Home is a destiny
My works looks at the importance of space, which is so essential for life. Life cannot exist without the earth – the place we live, our shelter -- yet the earth can exist without life. Our lives begin, end, and become a part of the earth. Likewise, for unborn babies, the womb is the shelter where life begins, a place of warmth, an individual space for individual growth. Shades of red pervade both the installation and painting. The painting focuses on images of the fetus, each in its own singular space, yet sharing a larger space. In the installation, transparent red balls hang in a circle, with an empty space inside the circle where we can go. The form is sensitive to human interaction; if anybody touches it, the form can change. Each balloon contains the ink drawing of an unborn child, turning it into a womb-like space, while the larger form represents the space of the earth.
Bio of SUNITA MAHARJAN
Sunita Maharjan is an emerging artist who had the distinction of being the first young artist awarded a six-month residency by the Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Center (KCAC), in 2010. She has exhibited frequently in Nepal, including a solo exhibit in 2009, a two-person show in 2010 at KCAC, and group exhibits organized by UNHCR, World Wildlife Fund, and art organizations. Maharjan was also selected for the student exchange program in 2008 between Kathmandu University Center for Art and Design and Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. She holds a BFA in Painting from Kathmandu University Centre for Art and Design (2009).
Jamaraa Might Not Exist
By SADISH DHAKAL (Nepal)
|Barley, Sand, Paper, Water, Sunlight|
In the project “Jamaraa Narahalaa” (Jamaraa Might Not Exist), I intend to use Jamaraa as a symbol of Nepalese culture, and use the growth of Tsho Rolpa-- the highest glacial lake in the world-- as an anecdote of global warming, in order to bring the scientific facts of global warming into the context of Nepalese culture and world history. Tsho Rolpa,in the last six decades, has grown over six fold in area as a result of glacial melt, providing evidence of global warming. The increasing volume of water poses risks as well as opportunities. In order to depict water as the vehicle of change that it is, I use eight snapshots of Tsho Rolpa in the last six decades, associate a patch of Jamaraa with each snapshot, and provide each patch with an amount of water proportional to the area of the lake with which the patch is associated. The different patches respond differently to the amount of water I provide them; the ones receiving more water grow denser and taller. The size of each patch is also proportional to the area of Tsho Rolpa. The patches are kept at different heights, with the height corresponding to the average global temperature during the point in the timeline with which it is associated. Moreover, in order to locate different points in the timeline, I present the images of Tsho Rolpa against the backdrop of some major events in world history.
Bio of SADISH DHAKAL
Sadish Dhakal of Nepal earned a BA in Mathematics from Grinnell College in Iowa, USA, in 2010. His objective is to contribute to a culture based more on science than on misinformation. His work is inspired by ideas in psychology and cognition, history, political economy, sociology, science and mathematics. By using the language of various mediums, he investigates the relationship between disciplines which are traditionally considered mutually exclusive. He works to create conceptually strong pieces that compel the viewer to consider issues or ideas from a perspective that might be unfamiliar.
By MILI PRADHAN (Nepal)
Poetry unfolds in the waste dumps near rivers of Kathmandu. Things once used are disowned, deemed unsuitable to hold the burden of our lives. Our “modern” sensibilities lie elsewhere: we seek them in the Western model of throwaway consumption and in the concrete infrastructure. As the river flows, objects appear like images in a poem: a shoe, a broom, a flash of white plastic, the pink of a slipper. The installation, consisting of these images, creates a space for immediacy and reconnection with what has been discarded and abandoned. It draws allusion to a sense of being and belonging, and to the collective disconnect from the “wastes” produced for the upkeep of an urban lifestyle.
Bio of MILI PRADHAN
Born in Nepal in 1980, Pradhan works primarily in video, photography, multimedia installation, and performance. Her work evolves out of spontaneous association, improvisation, and appropriation of activities, objects, images and sounds gleaned from her everyday surrounding. In exploring alternate possibilities of “events” that unfold in banal spaces and passing moments, her work is characterized by recurring themes of ambiguous wandering, being and belonging, passive transgression and multiple realities. Prior to Kathmandu, she was based in Buffalo, NY, USA, where she completed her MFA and exhibited her work in a number of art events, festivals and symposiums.
By LOK CHITRAKAR (Nepal)
|Minerals, Vegetables, Gold and Silver on Canvas|
Eastern philosophies consider the lotus flower a symbol of purity, free from materialistic wants. That’s why gods and goddesses are seated on lotuses and hold the flower in their hands. In my work, the lotus flower, which grows out of mud and rises above water, is presented as a body which is holy, clean and kind hearted.
The lotuses appear in three different colors: a pure and holy pink lotus; an unholy black lotus; and a half-black and half-pink lotus, which shows that even a pure heart, under different circumstances, can transform into something negative.
All human beings are born selfless. Circumstances can change a person’s innocent mind and influence the heart. The body then also becomes impure and its deeds become negative. From pink, we can turn into pink and black, and then into complete black. This process happens in everybody’s life.
In my 38-year painting career, I have always included a lotus flower in my works. In traditional Nepali painting, all physical and spiritual knowledge are symbolically presented, and the lotus flower is very important in this symbolism.
Bio of LOK CHITRAKAR
Lok Chitrakar is a renowned painter in the tradition of Newar paubha paintings, the ancient Kathmandu equivalent of Tibetan thangkas. His work has been featured in solo exhibits at Harvard University, USA, and in Japan and Finland as well as Nepal, and included in group exhibits in India, Japan, Finland and Russia. Hailing from a family of painters, he has distinguished himself with artwork represented at museums that include the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, Pakistan; Fukuokoa Asian Art Museum and Kanzouin Mandala Art Museum in Japan; the State Museum of Religion, St. Petersburg, Russia; and other private and public collections.
By KIRTI KAUSHAL JOSHI (Nepal)
|3D work, Earth Art, Plastics|
Nepal’s holy rivers have become dump sites. Millions of plastic bags pile on the banks of Kathmandu’s sacred Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers, merging with the land as if they had been there for years. It will be years before these plastic bags decay, and even then, they will be distributed into plastic dust. By the time that diffuses, more plastic bags will be added to this vulnerable land, poisoning the once-fertile earth, water, animals, humans and the whole environment.
This work is inspired by the work of geologists and archeologists, who drill under the earth, into the deep sea bottom, and under rocks and ice to bring up core samples that reveal intimate details of the climate and fauna of the distant past. My work presents a core sample of earth layered with plastic bags: thin lines of plastic piled with clay or mud and shaped, like core samples, in cylindrical or rectangular pillars. These are core samples of our values and samples of the future that awaits us.
Bio of KIRTI KAUSHAL JOSHI
Kirti Kaushal Joshi, an artist based in Kathmandu, Nepal, received his Master’s Degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China in 2003. His artworks relate to contemporary social, cultural and environmental issues through painting, installation and a variety of mediums. His works have been exhibited in national and international art exhibitions and residencies. Currently he is assistant professor at Kathmandu University, Centre for Art and Design.
How Long Can I Hold My Breath …
By HIT MAN GURUNG (Nepal)
|Acrylic on Canvas, Plastic, Glue, Paper|
Research tells us that nine million people die in the world each year because of pollution. The dirt, dust and smoke of Kathmandu cause respiratory problems, asthma and other diseases. Pollution has changed the lifestyles of Kathmandu residents; from people in the streets to motorcyclists to public bus riders, from children to the elderly, we have begun to use masks.
This solution of wearing masks, both as compulsion and fashion, grabs my attention. Personally, I find wearing mask uncomfortable. A question always runs through my mind: “Although it is advantageous, will this temporary and easy solution actually solve the problems of pollution?” This work involves portraits of 100 people from different age groups, ethnicities, work backgrounds and geographical locations who are living permanently or temporarily in Kathmandu. It asks the question: Why do people use masks? How do they feel when they wear one?
Bio of Hit Man Gurung
Born in 1986 in Lamjung, Nepal, Hit Man Gurung has done numerous nonconventional art projects, group exhibits and workshops. He was a 2011 recipient of the Australian Himalayan Art Award and was selected in 2012 as one of the winners of the competition “Imagining our Future Together: A Vision of a Better Common Future in South Asia,” organized by the World Bank. He was also selected for the project “Under the Bodhi Tree,” organized by WWF and Lumbini Development Trust. Gurung holds a Master’s degree from Tribhuvan University and is a lecturer at Tribhuvan University and other schools.
By BIRENDRA PRATAP SINGH (Nepal)
|Mixed Media, Gold, Silver and Copper Pigments With Black Ink, Nepali Paper|
I am sending the things that science has created—the things mankind has created—back to the sun. The discoveries, technologies, and inventions of humanity have been acts of creativity, yet we are responsible for so much destruction. Working in tandem with this power to create and destroy are our perceptions of the world and each other. Religious groups have fueled massive differences in how people perceive the world, and our inability to see past these differences has led to war. Consumed by our human ‘needs,’ the environment around us is suffering. And now, the sun’s rays are sending things back to us—the disturbances we create. We have created a situation of panic as we try to find another home, another planet, another place to live. At the rate we are going, it looks like we are in search of a new civilization.
Bio of BIRENDRA PRATAP SINGH
Birendra Pratap Singh's work conveys multiple perspectives of people and their environments, from the landscapes of nature to the cityscapes of ancient towns. His paintings and drawings are often filled with primal figures, expressive and distorted, giving ancient resonance to contemporary issues and personal emotions. Educated at Banaras Hindu University (BFA Painting, 1976) and Lalit Kala Academy (Graphic Printmaking, 1977; Painting, 1980). Singh has shown in India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan and the UK as well as Nepal. His paintings are in collections at the Fukuoka Art Museum (Japan), Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan National Airport, and private collections in Nepal and abroad.
The Dawn of the Photosynthesizers
By TAKEHITO SHIINA (Japan)
|Video and Photography Printed on Japanese Paper|
What would happen if people could carry out photosynthesis? Imagine this: We would escape the money system and change economic structures. We would avoid the system of land ownership and possession of natural resources. We would have fewer hours at work and more of our own time. Natural energy would be used efficiently. Our bodies and minds would be healthy; we would live in harmony with the environment.
I actually planted a seed of muskmelon in my left chest, and monitored the passage of the affected area for a certain time. The project was captured and expressed in photographs, film, prose, performance, sculpture and a blog, the Photo-synthesizer’s Journal. The project is half-fictional and half-realistic and functions as an allegory of contemporary life. It envisions a mentally altruistic human existence through physical symbiosis with plants, which are seen as being on a higher spiritual level. The Photosynthesizers the photographic series completed as part of the Photosynthesizers.
Bio of TAKEHITO SHIINA
A fascination with transmutation and the natural world runs through the work of Shiina Takehito. His innovative projects include the Volcano Works, which took him to active volcanoes in Japan, Italy, and Hawaii, USA to create clay sculpture burned into terra cotta by the heat of magma. He often engages with the community and new media in his experimental blends of the fantastical and the concrete. Born in 1973 in Hanamaki, Iwate, Japan, he received an MA from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1999 and has had numerous solo exhibitions, residencies and awards.
By VALERIA GEREMIA (Italy)
I travel through matter; matter within and without, from the macro to the micro dimension. Organic world in continual change. Mutation, transformation, life cycle like perpetual flow……
Like a hypothetical trip in the cell’s world, Energy develops itself and creates. The spectators are absorbed by an atmosphere of suggestive audio-visual impact with the sensation of matter in movement. The scenery consists of two sheets decorated with a pattern. One is the background; the other is the ground.
Everything else is black. The dancer's body is decorated in the same way; this gives a strong hypnotic effect of mimesis. At the beginning the body appears as a shade in an inky liqueur; the dancer is seminude, yet her skin is decorated and sheltered by 'filaments' that produce viscidity and vibrations.
The separation happens in a gradual way, but its completion is marked with great intensity by the dancing. A rebirth is in action, and the public becomes witness to its mutation. In the second part, the energy created reveals itself through a new being, whose dance is liberated in a direct, sometimes crude way, and touches the extremes, lingering there. Its evolution takes us to words, and then to the epilogue.
Bio of VALERIA GEREMIA
Valeria Geremia practices Dance Butoh, a form that originated in post-war Japan and has been called everything from dance to theatre to “seditious act” to “unclassifiable.” She was originally an artistic gymnast, then studied dance in Berlin with the Hans Vogl Ballet Centre and joined the Berlin company Mezzo danza Giosue' Spinoza before moving to Madrid and collaborating with the group of artists Artnophobia.Since 1997 she has concentrated on Dance Butoh, studying with masters including Wendell Wells, Carlotta Ikeda, Masaki Iwana and others and, since 2000, holding a regular Dance Butoh course in Sicily enriched by elements of Yoga, Shiatsu and Michizo Noguchi technique. In 2008, she opened the Sala Hernandez Centre, a performance and teaching space in the historic centre of Catania for Butoh and other disciplines, including Tai Chi and Yoga. Geremia has staged numerous works as a choreographer and dancer. Since 2007, she has also been a Shiatsu therapist.
Holy Geographic Elephant
Holy Geographic Tree
Holy Geographic Mountain
By TARSHITO (Italy)
|Gypsum, Ink, Acrylic and Gold Leaves on Canvas|
I do not see why there should be so many nations, why there have to be so many borders plotted on geographical maps..
Let's always remember: they're just lines laid down on a sheet of paper.
They have not been laid down anywhere else..
Neither on the earth nor in the sky. They have been made up by man.
In reality the earth has never been split up into many bits and pieces. The world is divided because man is divided; man is divided because the world is divided; you can start wherever you want: Just as long as humanity is one only and nation’s disappear along with those lines marking them out. The world belongs to us: one humanity, one land, and we can turn it into a paradise… - Osho Rajneesh
I have started from Osho’s writing to develop a concept of Mixed Geography. For me, the act of drawing maps is a kind of prayer and a request for Unity. It is a way of “bringing together” various part of the Earth which is normally the separate. Mixed Geography involves each part of world as a Warrior of Love, Land, Trees, and Sacred Animals – as, in this case, an Elephant that became Sacred.
Bio of TARSHITO
In Sanskrit, Tarshito means “thirst for God.” It is the name that Nicola Strippoli, Italian, received from his Indian spiritual teacher, Osho. He frequented India after graduating in 1979 from the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, found it to be a true rebirth, and started a journey of union between art and life that he still follows as an artist, architect and professor at the Academy of Fine Art.
By HOJAT OLLAH AMANI (Iran)
Water. Soil. Wind. Fire.
|Inkjet Print on Canvas|
Many cultures of the Ancient East hold archetypical beliefs that these four elements of creation are sacred. Each element has its angels to protect and care for it. But in our modern world, humans have forgotten their local beliefs, customs, and the holy traditions of the past, and forget to preserve the sanctity of these resources. Today, the need to care for the Earth is greater than ever. The Earth is our legacy for future generations. We have to believe in our beliefs.
Bio of HOJAT OLLAH AMANI
Hojat Ollah Amani is an Iranian artist fascinated by angels, their symbolism, and their links to the ancient mindscape of Iran and the Near East. He explores light, color, and the place of humans in their environment through his culture-laden artistic flights, which have been widely exhibited in Iran and showcased in the UK, Dubai, Greece and Lithuania in exhibits devoted to new and innovative Iranian art. Born in 1978 and trained in Persian calligraphy, Amani also holds a B.A. in Painting and M.A. in Art Research from the University of Art in Tehran.
By FERESHTEH ALAMSHAH (Iran)
|Video Projection on Plastic|
Man – woman – fish
Covering within plastic, hard respirations, heat, sweat, hard mobility, perception of wizened shoots sense, the perception of captive animals within polluted waters, the earth surrounded by heat, slow growth of nature, the sense of inability and non freedom … People who surround themselves with plastic are symbols of humans who not only devastate and destroy nature and earth by their own hands, but also damage their life and their children’s lives. Plastic, for me, is a symbol for all pollutants.
Bio of FERESHTEH ALAMSHAH
Iranian eco-artist Fereshteh Alamshah is a video artist, painter and visual activist whose art compels viewers to look, think and feel in new ways about our shared and damaged environment. She teaches, paints, blogs, exhibits, and is engaged in women’s and environment art groups in Iran and internationally.
By VIBHA GALHOTRA (India)
|Sediment on Board, Resin and Glass Jar|
The Yamuna is a holy rivers around which many cities developed, one of them now known as Delhi. I generally go there once in a while to see the water situation and to talk to the people living around it. Sanjay, boat rider and dweller on the banks of the Yamuna, takes me on boat rides. Every time, the river stinks more and more like sewage, and every time, I get breathless with the smell. As soon as the river enters Delhi, the water becomes like black ink from industrial sewage.
I feel very sorry for the poor and homeless dwelling around the river, as they live by that water,drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing in that contamination. Most of them have skin diseases. I am sure they must have other problems, too, drinking that water. Some way or other, this water effects all the people living in the cities around the river.
I wanted to capture the moment of depression in a playful, satirical manner by collecting sediment from the river and using it as Indian ink, charcoal or color to mirror the situation to all the consumers of the products of those industries that pollute the river.
These are mechanical birds made of crafted metal. I focus on the work as an alarm about the extinction of birds and other species from the globe. My attention here was specially for the house sparrows, which have almost left the urban jungles; but in our ignorance, we don't or can’t see the loss around us.
I create works which don’t hit one directly, but slowly touch the soul. Here I wanted to keep playfulness by using a toy form, which makes a sound when the bird’s back is pressed. This is an old form of toy, which used to be common 10 or 20 years back, but is now banned for safety reasons. It is only available as a collectible.
Bio of VIBHA GALHOTRA
Born in 1978, Vibha Galhotra obtained an MFA in Printmaking at Kala Bhavan Centre for Visual Art, Santiniketan and BFA in Printmaking at the Government College of Arts, Chandigarh. She received the INLAKS Foundation Fine Arts Award in 2003, a National Scholarship from the Government of India and the ‘Artist under 30 Years’ Award from the Lalit Kala Academi, New Delhi. She has held several solo shows of her work in India and participated in group exhibitions in India and abroad. Her work is in the collection of Casoria International Contemporary Art Museum,Casoria, Italy, and several public and private collections.
Neelkanth : Poison/Nectar
By SHEBA CHHACHHI (India)
|Video Installation With 260 Aluminum Towers, Light, Photographs, Translides and Video|
Poison in the air, the earth, and the water. Poisoned minds, bodies, psyche, societies.
In the ancient, still popular story, Shiva swallows the flaming mass of poison, which threatened to destroy the universe, keeping it in his throat, becoming the blue-throated one, Neelkanth.
This work relocates the archetypal/mythological figure of Neelkanth, in the contemporary Indian city/ infoscape where each of the five elements (earth, fire, water, air, and ether), the five senses (smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing), and the power of the word itself is poisoned.
An inquiry into the possibility of transformation of toxins, this installation seeks to reflect upon both our fragility and power as human beings at this point of history. And simultaneously act as a reminder of alchemical/philosophic wisdom – that every poison contains the possibility of nectar, that medicine injudiciously used becomes poison. The work evokes both fragmentation and harmonic pattern.
Within this body/cityscape, the hi-rise building becomes a unit of geometric precision, garbage dumps are rendered as romantic landscape, the human concentrated to the smallest involuntary bodily movement, marked by waste, by the painful beauty of the endless struggle to ingest.
Can the city be a Mandela for the generation of knowledge from the mass of information that floods us? Can we, like the archetypal Neelkanth, find means of containment and transformation? Can we make nectar from poison?
Bio of SHEBA CHHACHHI
Born in 1958 in Harar, Ethiopia, Sheba Chhachhi lives and works in New Delhi. With women’s rights and environmental degradation at the core of her work, Sheba Chhachhi transforms contemporary issues into works of art. Chhachhi began in the 1980s, both activist and photographer, documenting the women’s movement in India. By the 1990s, Chhachhi had moved to creating collaborative staged photographs, eventually turning to large photo based multimedia installations. Chhachhi creates both site-specific and independent works, through which she articulates a range of concerns, including the history and experience of women, the link between the feminine and the environment in Indian religion and mythology, and the recuperation of cultural memory. She has exhibited widely in India and internationally.
Pages from the Gokyo Diary
Leading Up to The Flight of The
By PAULA SENGUPTA (India)
|Pen & Ink on Nepali Rice paper|
As an intermittent visitor and trekker in Nepal, I have developed some degree of familiarity over the years with this fledgling democracy, the political and economic turbulence that it reels under, and its breathtaking mountain terrain that stands tall in near defiance of its inability to otherwise coherently function.
In April 2012, I undertook a trek to Gokyo in the Kumbhu Valley. The Kumbhu is home to the Sherpa’s, known to be the greatest climbers in the world. Many centuries ago, they migrated from eastern Tibet into the Kumbhu across the highest Himalayan passes. They settled here so as to peacefully practice the Buddhist faith without fear of persecution. They remain a peace-loving, hardy people, who have clung to their culture, religion, and way of life, and to a very large extent are responsible for conserving the fragile ecosystem of the Kumbhu Valley.
The surreal mountains cape of Gokyo is an unimaginable reward after an arduous trek. The terrain is dotted with five high-altitude glacial lakes, fringed by the last line of peaks into Tibet – a homeland lost to the Sherpa’s forever. These lakes are also home to the migratory Brahminy ducks that mysteriously dwell in solitary pairs in the icy waters, giving birth to their young before flying further afield.
The Flight of the Ducks is a narrative in the tradition of animal tales from India that draws a parallel between the migration of the Sherpa’s and the flight of the endangered Brahminy ducks.
Bio of PAULA SENGUPTA
Paula Sengupta is an artist, academician, curator and writer who live in Kolkata. Educated in painting and printmaking (College of Art, New Delhi and Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan), she has a doctorate in the history of Indian printmaking (Visva Bharati, Santiniketan) and is currently Assistant Professor in Printmaking at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. She has been a visiting faculty member at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kolkata and is Secretary of Khoj Kolkata. Born in 1967 and trained as a traditional printmaker, Paula’s repertoire as an artist includes broadsheets, artist’s books, objects, installation-performance work, and community art projects.
By CHRISTIN BOLEWSKI (Germany)
|Experimental Video, 2D/3D Animation|
Traditional Chinese landscapes usually include small human figures that blend harmoniously into the vast world. Man and nature interact and complement each other to reach a state of balance and harmony. My ‘video scroll’ transposes this relation into a different, more contemporary Western manner: it uses the figure of the Western mountaineer equipped with special tools and protective clothing to vanquish the highest peaks and conquer nature rather than searching for harmonious existence. The ambient ‘video scroll’ presents a poem by the famous Chinese poet Han Shan as a reflection on the Western mountaineer’s fight against nature, ascending and descending the highest peaks, which is a counterpoint to the Eastern attempt to gain spiritual harmony. It reminds us of a sustainable and mindful use of nature in a fragile globalized ecological environment.
Bio of CHRISTIN BOLEWSKI
Christin Bolewski is an experimental filmmaker and digital media artist from Germany. She exhibits regularly at international digital media art events in Europe, Asia, North and South America, including SIGGRAPH Asia, Worldwide Video Festival Den Haag, FILE Brazil, Transmediale Berlin, and more.
She has been a researcher and lecturer at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany; Konstfack, Stockholm; University of California at Santa Cruz, California, USA; and Loughborough University, UK. This video has been presented at 27 international video and digital media festivals worldwide in 16 countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America and was part of the international touring exhibition Letters from the Sky for COP17 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2011 in Durban, South Africa.
Match Stick Men
By WOLFGANG STILLER (Germany)
|Wood, Acrylic, Gouache and PU|
I had some head molds sitting in my studio left over from a mannequin production I did for a movie in China. Back then, I was living in Beijing. I also had some pieces of thick bamboo wood lying around from another installation that I had done. I was playing around with those two elements and after a while the heads ended up on the bamboo sticks.
The meaning and content of a work grows while I'm in the process of doing the physical work. I really like the literal aspect of “matchstick head” in German, (which is) called, "Streichholzkopf." It refers to an actual head (and) is stronger in the German language.
One could read those burned matches as worn-out or burned-out human beings. The installation can appear like a battlefield or just like some playground where someone played around with matches and dropped them. All the heads I've used so far are from Chinese people. This sometimes leads to the assumption that this is a criticism of the Chinese government. One can read it that way, but I think this metaphor could be used for any western system as well. The matchboxes could be simply seen as formal elements within the installation, as coffins or simply as matchboxes. I actually like to keep it open since I don't like art that leaves no space for one's own imagination.
Bio of WOLFGANG STILLER
German artist Wolfgang Stiller has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, with more than 30 oneman shows around the world, including Thessaloniki, Greece (2011), Rome, Italy (2006), New York City, USA (2003, 2001), Nagoya, Japan (2001), and Prague, Czech Republic (2001). He has also shown in numerous group exhibits, most recently in Beijing (2011), Seoul (2011), London (2010) and Rome (2010). Born in 1961 in Wiesbaden, Germany, Stiller has worked in the US (2000-2007) and been a guest professor for New York University in Shanghai, China (2007). His works are in museums and public collections in Germany and the Netherlands.
By JEAN ANTOINE RAVEYRE (France)
What if our society disappeared? If it was re-discovered only after its disappearance? A CD, a plastic chandelier, a pair of jeans, or a mobile found almost intact would each have its place in the museums of the story of humanity. All these trivial objects of everyday life would become witnesses of our civilization.
For my Historique project, my ideas revolve around two notions. The first is the notion of historicity: the gaps in history and its reinterpretation. Envisioning our time as if it were already part of the history, I use the codes of our society and its creations – its works, architectures, lifestyles, and technological, sociological inventions -- as subjects of interpretation. I also envision our own time as the distant past, with viewers close to the time of the civilization’s rediscovery. Current events become a long-gone part of a history. What is the track of our current story?
I am interested in the transformation over the course of time of things that once existed -- on the natural emancipation of vegetation, its possible symbiosis with our urban environment, its perpetual transformation. I reproduce scenes of current life, petrified further by an imaginary natural disaster. In this work, the present becomes the past.
Bio of JEAN ANTOINE RAVEYRE
Jean-Antoine Raveyre was born in 1977 in Saint-Etienne, France, where he lives and works. Having originally trained and worked as a carpenter, he later switched to photography, specializing in working with theater companies. Since 2006, he has produced, written and directed theater productions including, in 2009, writing, directing and producing The Buried with Bernard Ceysson for a show at Dock Gallery’s Art Fair 09.
By JUHA ROUHIKOSKI (Finland)
|Light Sources, Color Filter, Polycarbonate|
The light-art work “Horizon” is a part of the “Horizon” series. The series started in 2009 with ”Red Horizon” and was continued with ”Blue Horizon.”
All around the world the natural light we experience is from the same light sources, the sun and the stars, and yet its color and tone seem astonishing and pure experienced in new environments. Environmental degradation and climate change are intimately connected with sunlight. It is the life source which keeps us alive, but at the same time it is also capable of destroying all life on earth.
The artwork “Horizon” presents light as a source of life and hope. The work challenges the viewer to see beyond the limitation of eyesight; to see and feel the invisible light; to see the light of dreams. The light space created by the artwork will be a space where the spectators are invited to decelerate and spend time. The permeating atmosphere of silence, light and color together with the spectators' minds will be the mediums that create the whole.
Bio of JUHA ROUHIKOSKI
Finnish light-artist Juha Rouhikoski is continuously looking for ways to utilize the secret, visible and invisible wavelengths of light. His work as a lighting designer for a wide range of productions, including architectural and stage lighting, has led him to explore the expressive capacity of light and eyesight. He has created works shown in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm as well as in Finland. He is currently working on his artistic research PhD in the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.
Triptych: Because We Entered
By JUHA ARVID HELMINEN (Finland)
The triptych’s title, Because We Entered, is a reference to a line in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” The epic poem tells the story of Dante’s visit to the circles of hell with the Roman poet Virgil as his guide. The deeper they travel the more torment they see and the more internal it all becomes. Even when wars between countries decrease, internal conflicts remain. In my images, humankind has entered hell and heaven on earth.
In my images, there is no class, gender or ethnicity. There is no “us” and “them;” just we the people. I like the mini-stories that I find in the gestures of the models. In my triptych, I see three characters: The doer that does the messenger that delivers and the civilians left to put the pieces together at the end of it all. We see that it is a loop. It happens over and over again. This is, of course, the story in my head and the viewer can create his or her own story.
Bio of JUHA ARVID HELMINEN
Juha Arvid Helminen of Helsinki, Finland is a freelance photographer with a background in graphic design and an eye for the odd, the disconcerting, and the astonishing. Born in 1977, he graduated as a photographer from the University of Applied Science in Lahti and has shown his artwork in Finland, Colombia, Germany, and France.
By ANNI KINNUNEN (Finland)
|C-print, Mounting on Aluminium|
Personal Landscape converses on the human need to control and manipulate nature. In my work I use environments where people have left their marks and locations where nature has occupied the urban environment.
Human nature has a basic need to interfere with and organize its surroundings. That need is also present in the relationship with nature. It is unusual to see a forest in its natural state. Forests are cut down. Plantings are arranged to their specific places. Uncontrolled wilderness is frightening.
Humans have raised themselves over other living beings. The bond between human and nature has diverged and led to the imbalanced situation that we live in. In this series, I depict the relationship between human and nature. My goal is to evoke reflection on how we think about our environment.
Bio of ANNI KINNUNEN
Anni Kinnunen is a photographer and video artist who lives and works in Oulu, Finland. In her video art, she uses animated pictures to create motion. In her still images she creates movement; in her video art she stops time. Making photographs without looking through the camera makes her work uncontrollable and leaves images open for coincidence and chance. Her photographs explore movement and what moments are composed of; they make invisible moments visible. The North is one of her main themes, along with the relationship between humans and nature and the influence of environment on the development of identity.
The Final Snack Remix/ Dining with Worms:
The Final Snack
Down the Stream
By PEETER LAURITS (Estonia)
In “The Final Snack,” the Last Supper is over and the disciples have collapsed around the table, alongside empty Coca- Cola bottles and torn packages of potato chips.
In “Heavenly Cargo,” a group of soldiers have fallen to the ground around a cistern bearing the letters “NASA.” There are no signs of a battle, but evidently the fight has been fought already. The only living creature on this ghastly landscape is a little dog, wandering in the ruins of civilization.
“Down the Stream” borrows from old Chinese “water and stones” painting style to create a harmonious and beautiful scene of human bodies turning back into nature.
Documentary proof of a small scale death orgy, some obscure and ghastly ritual taking place “somewhere else” – in a forest in Võrumaa County, Estonia. In the end, the hands and feet intertwine with the branches, moss grows through hair, water washes the bodies into the rocks and then there really isn’t much difference left...
Bio of PEETER LAURITS
The connecting thread in the work of Estonian photo-artist Peeter Laurits is the overlapping between mythical and everyday worlds, which play with the viewer’s sense of reality. Born in 1962, he was educated in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia and New York City, USA. He has exhibited worldwide since 1989 and has artworks housed in the Estonian Art Museum, Tartu Art Museum, KIASMA Helsinki, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art, and elsewhere.
The Damned Dam
By LALA RASCIC (Croatia)
|Mixed Media with Video|
The year is 2027. Tarik is a young engineer. Merima is his beloved. They can save the townspeople of Lukavac if they broadcast the radio drama Catastrophe from the year 2000. Heroes and fairies, love and dystopia, rivers and lakes, dams and factories, Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU, epic geography and oral tradition: between these a future romance is shaped.
The starting point of this multimedia project was a real event – the 2000 radio broadcast Catastrophe, which announced the dam break on Modrac lake in Lukavac, Bosnia - Herzegovina, causing an outbreak of panic and community migration. The motif of the flood is embedded here in a fictional narrative, composed from field research in the Balkan region.
The artist’s narrative strategies are informed by Bosnian heritage and oral literature. Based on her study of these traditional forms, she delivers a fantastical story set in the future that intersects with socio-political connotations closely echoing the Balkan region's concerns. Taken within a broader context, all of these concerns are reflected in global issues such as distribution of power, capitalism and the fragility of the environment.
Bio of LALA RASCIC
Croatian artist Lala Rascic creates narratives that inhabit the space between concept and theatricality. She often incorporates videos, drawings, artifacts and installations into her work. Born in 1977 in Sarajevo -- then Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina -- she lives and works in Sarajevo; Zagreb, Croatia; and New Orleans, USA. She studied art and design in Zagreb and in Amsterdam (Rijksakademie van BeeldendeKunsten) and has exhibited internationally, including Austria, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey, the UK and the USA.
By NAN SU AKA NANGUAZI (China)
|Medium: Painting/Drawing||Dimension: Digital Print, 50 x 37.49 cm|
Su captures a dreamlike atmosphere and transforms it into a visual experience. She has chosen a particular series of prints for Kathmandu International Art Festival that demonstrates her hope for a better world. The feminine figures in the images represent the artist as one among the billions on the earth who are being haunted by the damage that humans have caused.
Bio of NAN SU AKA NANGUAZI
Su graduated from Xichuan Fine Art College of China. She is now an illustrator, fashion designer and photographer who has exhibited around China, including the 2005 National Portrait Competition, in which she won third place, and Art in the Metro in Shenzhen.
Al Sarab Cafeteria 2011
By LANTIAN XIE (China)
Al Sarab Cafeteria is an interactive video installation of text and image combinations appropriated from cafeteria restaurant menus in the United Arab Emirates. The work is activated when sound is made by the present viewer. Menu items including Tasty Chicken Supreme, Disco, and Burj Al Arab, are sequenced together randomly in real-time while listening for amplitude to determine rate of change. Viewers are acknowledged and physically implicated in generating moving image. Arrangements of images and narrative trajectories never repeat. When viewers are absent or silent, the image rests on a single still frame. This work was a recipient of the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award of the United Arab Emirates and has previously exhibited at Traffic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Art Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Collection of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Bio of LANTIAN XIE
Lantian Xie was born in China and raised between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. He is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a recent recipient of the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award of the United Arab Emirates. He currently spends his time between New York City and Dubai.
Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting
By MICHAEL CAMPBELL & JANICE RAHN (Canada)
|Found materials (recycled and scavenged materials), Video Projection|
The process: gather recycled and scavenged material found along the streets, empty lots and riversides of Kathmandu to assemble a large-scale ‘vessel.’ Created from plastic, wood, metal and other debris, it makes reference to contemporary phenomena such as the vast dead pool of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean, Cargo Cults of the 1950’s within Micronesia, and survival strategies for the 21st century.
The project is titled Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting in reference, at a very basic level, to global warming and the slow glacial movement of flotsam and jetsam across the planet’s rivers, lakes and oceans. The vessel itself layers notions of DIY (Do It Yourself), salvaged material and the potential for imagined voyage.
Bio of MICHAEL CAMPBELL & JANICE RAHN
Janice Rahn and Michael Campbell have collaborated on a number of projects over a period of almost twenty years, such as The Elephants Graveyard, a touring video installation within a mobile airstream trailer that connected Victorian colonial Arctic exploration with the 1960’s NASA Apollo program. The Kathmandu project is an extension of a recent body of work, also called Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting, that has toured across Canada since 2008.
Michael Campbell is interested in obsolete technologies, remote landscapes, purposeless inventions, suburban boredom, bad sci-fi films, utopic schemes, adolescent fantasy sketchbooks and handmade tools. He has recently exhibited in France and Japan as well as Canada. Janice Rahn films video documentaries based on artists outside of institutional structures, such as a series of four videos made with International urban street/graffiti artists. She is also working on series based on builders who share a DIY “do it yourself” philosophy of architecture as art using natural and salvaged materials such as driftwood and recycled materials. She also constructs audio/video installations, including a recent collaboration in Poitiers, France, with organist Dominique Ferran, who created a soundtrack using an 18th century cathedral organ. She has also written two books and many chapters and articles on visual culture.
By JANET CARDIFF & GEORGE BURES MILLER (Canada)
|Medium: iPod Shuffles||Dimensions: Variable|
Check out an iPod. Go to the woods. Listen. Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller don’t create art to hang on a wall. They create sound scapes, intense and disorienting and dreamlike, loaded onto 10 iPods that audience members can check out and experience on their own.
Mixed using binaural audio technology to create the impression of a 3-dimensional sphere of sound, the aural scenery shifts and dissolves as if in a dream. The intensity of crashing trees and bombs, marching men, sword fights, and galloping horses gives way to intimate and sensual sounds such as a choir walking through the forest singing. Listening to the piece in the woods is intended to create a sense of disorientation. The listener perceives events to be transpiring, such as a bird calling or a tree falling, that are not actually occurring. This conflation of perception and reality allows the forest itself to become an important part of the work. The audience, standing in the natural world immersed in sound, experiences a narrative that references human relationships to the environment. The forest itself becomes the site of a discourse on the disturbing and beautiful relationship we have to the world.
Bio of JANET CARDIFF & GEORGE BURES MILLER
Janet Cardiff (b. 1957, Brussels, Ontario, Canada) and George Bures Miller (b. 1960, Vegreville, Alberta, and Canada) create immersive multimedia works usually involving sound. Recent solo exhibitions have been held in galleries and museums in Berlin, New York, Oxford, Edinburgh, Miami, Barcelona and Darmstatdt. Their work has been presented by several major institutions, including MOMA, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, and Public Art Fund, New York; The Tate Modern and Artangel, London; San Francisco MOMA; Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan; and Inhotim Contemporary Art, Brazil. Representing Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennale, Cardiff and Miller received the Biennale's Premio Speciale (Special Prize) as well as The 4th Benesse Prize. More recently they received the 2008 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award and in 2011 the Akademie der Kunste awarded them the Kathe Kollwitz Prize. Cardiff and Miller live and work in Grindrod, British Columbia and Berlin, Germany.
By SHAHIDUL ALAM (Bangladesh)
The Brahmaputra Diary is based on my expedition along this major river. It started from a longing to cross other boundaries: to reach across boundaries of time, across boundaries of political space, across racial and cultural barriers of language and religion. To go back in time to how our environs were created.
The answer lay in a river, amazing as much for its physical grandeur as for the history hidden in its rock and for its exuberant flow. The Brahmaputra. The Son of Brahma. It has been a long journey. It has taken us four years to chart one of the greatest rivers in the world. Searching for its mythical source, we traveled to the glacier that the river stems from. Following the river across Tibet, and plummeting south through India and Bangladesh, we went from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the massive outflow into the Bay of Bengal.
Life on the river is changing. The sailboats that used to ply this might river are now rarely seen. The Bhatiali song is being replaced by the drone of the engine. Overfishing has reduced the harvest for the fishermen. But still, the river remains central to the Bangladeshi way of life.
We take you on this journey, across the millenia, across three nations, through Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. From the icy trickle in the glaciers, through the crystal clear waters in Arunachal Pradesh, across the lush deltaic plains of verdant Bangladesh, we take you sailing along the Brahmaputra.
Bio of SHAHIDUL ALAM
A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in Chemistry at London University before switching to photography and returning to his hometown of Dhaka in 1984. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums such as MOMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has been a jury member in prestigious international contests, including Prix Pictet, chaired by Kofi Annan, and is on the advisory board of the National Geographic Society. His recent, highly praised book is “My Journey as a Witness.”
By PROMOTESH DAS PULAK (Bangladesh)
|Medium: Shola Flowers, Wire Mesh, Steel Wire, Fiber Glass, Bamboo, Glue|
Look around. Look at our society; our political views; our environment; its inhabitants; our globe. What do we perceive? Pollution. Corruption. Constant hostility. We are destroying our environment, our society, our own humanity. To escape from that, I wear a gas mask to save my life. But can that gas mask save me from all of these things? Does protection come from a gas mask? Is it not our duty to save our society? I question myself: Why do I need a mask these days? I believe and hope that we can make our lives comfortable without the need for a gas mask.
In my work, I deal with social crisis, the environment and war. For this work, I made a Gas Mask by using Japanese Raku technique and took photographs of myself in different environments, wearing the mask.
Bio of PROMOTESH DAS PULAK
Promotesh Das Pulak is an artist from Bangladesh whose work has been shown at the 54th Venice Biennale in Rome, Italy as well in Japan (Kawasaki City Museum and Chuwa Gallery, Tokyo) and extensively in Bangladesh. Born in 1980 in Sylhet, Bangladesh, he received his BFA(2002) and MFA (2004) from the University of Dhaka, where he lives and works.
By MAHBUBUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh)
|Medium: Mixed Media Installation with Video Projection, Sound, Lights and Kinetic Objects|
A circle is endless. It starts at one point and ends up at the same point; but at that point, it loses its starting point. Any repetition happens again and again.
The power of materials can be understood when they are assembled or reassembled. The energy or life of each object is emphasized by its interplay with other objects and the combinations and relationships that are produced. What is the relationship between light and shadow, warmth and cold, softness and hardness? How does it combine with air, earth, fire and water, or light and spirit?
When a body finally rests in the earth, the energy transforms into other forms. This is what life and death, form and reform are about.
Bio of MAHBUBUR RAHMAN
Mahbubur Rahman is part of a generation of Bangladeshi artists who have introduced new techniques, work and subject matters into their art. Born in 1969, he has had numerous solo exhibitions and exhibited widely internationally, including such major recent venues as the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy, and the 14th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh. He has also been artistin-resident at colleges, museums and art centers in the UK, Denmark, Indonesia, Ireland, Germany, Finland, Nepal, Korea and India. Rahman is the Founder-Trustee of Britto Arts Trust, a non-profit artist-run platform for artists in Bangladesh.
The Utopian Museum
By IMRAN HOSSAIN ‘PIPLU’ (Bangladesh)
|Medium: Digital Prints|
My work investigates the geological time scale known as the Warrasic Period, which spans from about 1600 to 2000 AD. The name Warrasic refers to the invention of weaponry, war paraphernalia and its consumption.
During the course of the Warrasic Period, all kinds of dangerous and threatening animals (also called “weapons”) invaded Earth, leading to the destruction and extinction of these ferocious creatures. The possible explanation for their extinction is that it resulted from the changed perceptions and temperaments of human beings. Near the end of the Warrasic Period, human beings became more tolerant and lived peacefully amongst one another. Gradually, weapons fell out of use.
My work is a museum of archeological fossils, in the form of sculptural relief, digital print and publication, discovered in different parts of the world and belonging to the Warrasic Period. The museum alludes to the idea that there is no functioning weapon found today. They exist only as fossils.
Bio of IMRAN HOSSAIN ‘PIPLU’
Imran Hossain Piplu is an artist from Dhaka, Bangladesh who melds the visual and the conceptual into thought-provoking mixed-media pieces. Trained at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, he received an MFA degree in 1998 in Sculpture. He has been artist-in-residence in Brazil, Scotland, Taiwan and Karnataka, India, and has exhibited at the 2011 Venice Biennale; 14th Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka; Video zoom: Bangladesh in Rome, Italy; and in numerous venues in Bangladesh. He is a founder-trustee of Britto Arts Trust, an artistled organization that encourages experimentation and serves as an alternative platform for artists.
By CHRISTIANE PESCHEK (Austria)
|Medium: Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Paper|
“Diary” plays in a narrative form with a time-limited experience, which is summarized in picture form and brought in compressed form on a plane. The symbolism and composition create a complex encryption system, which is reminiscent of the classic imagery of a still life. Read that way, the images are placed in an uncategorized time space.
Each of the images is representative of a lived story; by arrangement and reduction-in-relation to the respective symbols, it reads like a diary entry. The artist works in a more pictorial way than conventional photographic practice and tries to open up the context of photography using classical ways of composing a picture.
Bio of CHRISTIANE PESCHEK
Vienna-based Christiane Peschek is a young Austrian artist who works in multiple media. Trained in Photography (Prague School of Photography, 2009), Stage Design (University Mozarteum Salzburg, 2010), Transmedia Arts (University of Applied Arts, Vienna) and Scenography (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, 2012), Peschek has exhibited in Austria as well as in Bulgaria, Hungary, Bosnia, Romania, Germany, Ireland and Iceland, where she received UNESCO support as artist-in-residence. The Cultural Ministry of Salzburg has also given Peschek several prizes for innovative contemporary artwork.
By ASSOCREATION (Austria)
|Medium: Modified Bike Trainers, Bicycles, Cables, Balloon Light and Muscle Power|
Imagine if there was no light at night without human effort –not even moonlight. That’s the premise of this project, in which participants are invited to hook their own bikes up to bike trainers transformed into generators. Every step on the pedals generates electricity, illuminating a balloon light hovering in the night sky. The cyclists’ effort determines the brightness of the balloon. Moon Ride is the physical encounter of a society on its way to another dimension of reality.
Bio of ASSOCREATION
Assocreation is an artist collective based in Vienna, Austria, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.A. Founded in 1997, the collective considers itself an individual and its agents work anonymously, involving the public in open play while exploring how people relate to the space around them and ground beneath their feet. Assocreation has presented at spaces including Jack the Pelican Gallery in Brooklyn, USA.A.; Fabrica Gallery in the UK; Spain’s Bienal de Valencia; Austria’s Ars Electronica Festival; Istanbul 2010 – European Capital of Culture; and in the streets of New York, Warsaw, Zurich, Copenhagen and Paris.
Atlas of Water - Rivers, 2012
By NOELENE LUCAS (Australia)
The Atlas of Water seeks to be an inventory of the rivers of the world. This has been an ongoing project since 2000; the video material was collected from rivers around the world. This work is a development of the mapping impulse that has driven my work for 20 years. Like maps, atlases aim for exactness and comprehensiveness, an effort that is often futile. An atlas allows for contemplation of details and the universal, and like maps, they imply the act of cutting a place from a greater whole – such as the world, a continent, island, or country –and that act of cutting imposes a frame and a particular viewpoint.
What I am attempting here is a video atlas, a methodically assembled inventory of water. Central to this work are environmental concerns: water quality and the transient nature of weather in the light of climate change. Rivers imply change, movement, wandering and dwelling.
Rivers are used for transport, pleasure and as a life support. Water flows from mountains through valleys, farms and cities to the ocean, highlighting the ways that water, rivers and oceans are interconnected -- as is what we do to them.
Bio of NOELENE LUCAS
Noelene Lucas is a Sydney-based video installation artist with a background in sculpture. Her work has been featured in major exhibitions in Australia and internationally in Japan, Thailand, Germany, France and the USA. Her works link the everyday to the numinous, to awareness beyond the ordinary, and to the mysteries of life. She has been the recipient of three major Development Grants from the Australia Council, the Australian government’s arts funding body, as well as two Australia Council Tokyo studio residencies in Tokyo, which deeply affected her life and practice and created the foundation for her 2006 PhD dissertation.
Biotope II / Biotope
By SVETOSLAV TEODOROV NEDEVN (Bulgaria)
A “Biotope” (from Ancient Greek bios='life' and topos='place') is literally an area where life lives. More precisely, a biotope is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific biological community. However, a biotope is often considered to be within the circle of human everyday life.
The Biotope series shows a “city” of trash containers. It has been created as a visualization of a large installation project, which addresses one of today’s most serious problems: the problem of waste. Increased consumption leads to increased pollution, but all the consumption leads to even more production. Consumption has become a “social duty” to keep the economy going. The consumer society has turned into a waste society. We leave so much waste after us that the place we live in, our “biotope,” turns gradually into a dumping ground that limits our own outlook and movements.
Coping with this requires quick and intelligent decisions as well as socially responsible actions and behavior. It would be good if people reflect on these processes and their personal attitudes.
Bio of SVETOSLAV TEODOROV NEDEVN
Born in 1967 in Sofia, Bulgaria, Slav Nedev is from the generation of artists that emerged after the 1989 political changes in Eastern Europe. Working in media ranging from painting and digital art to objects and installations, he sees art as a kind of dream whose vagueness conveys what clear conceptual thinking cannot always communicate. Influenced by Eastern Orthodox icons, philosophy (Kant and Heidegger), mythology and Jungian psychology, he is a recipient of numerous awards and has been widely exhibited in all major galleries and museums in Bulgaria as well as the USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
By GARY WORNELL (Canada)
We live in a world where the effects of people on their environment through climate change impact each living thing. Every one of us is at risk of extinction. This work is composed of 100 photographs of abandoned toy animals on the shelves of flea markets and junk stores. From a very early age, we become aware of the natural world through them. They represent animals many of us never get to see in their natural habitat. Despite our knowledge of the problems they are facing, we feel powerless, just like small children, against the circumstances that are driving the real animals from the earth forever. Some are already extinct; some are very close to extinction. Toy animals are symbols of comfort and companionship.
We see the pleasure these animals bring to our children, and when they abandon them with the concerns of childhood, we cast them aside. But it is the real animals that face an uncertain future and are our true companions. We cannot live without them.
Each animal in Endangered Species is a portrait of an individual, sometimes smiling, sometimes melancholy, in a situation of uncertainty. In the wild, as in these flea markets, the animals wait to be noticed, wait for someone to care, wait for a brighter future. It is our primary task to make sure this happens.
Bio of GARY WORNELL
I am a Canadian by birth but have spent my adult life in England and Finland. This experience has engaged me in considering both the importance and irrelevance of nationality. I value my Canadian citizenship; it represents the country that welcomes me home and a country of fair and equal opportunity. I value living abroad because of what I gain from diverse cultures and experiences. I worked in ceramics for 25 years and renewed my interest in photography in the late 1990 's. I give creative print and photography workshops in Finland and abroad, most recently in Uzbekistan and Tanzania.
Reflection of Nature
By ATEFEH KHAS (Iran)
I am interested in light and reflection. To me reflection means to behold, and light is an element of beholding. Sight is also a reflection of existence. Light makes clear all vice and repulsiveness, but also reflects all beauty. We need to keep this beauty. If we lose our earth, we will lose our beauty.
Bio of ATEFEH KHAS
Atefeh Khas is an Iranian environmental artist and member of the environmental artists’ group "Open Five.” She has participated in more than16 environmental art festivals across Iran (including Polour, Hormuz, Shoushtar, Uremia, Isfahan, and Nowshahr) since 2005. Her work has also been exhibited internationally at the Tirgan Festival in Canada and at Re-Fashioning Fiber at GreenSpaces, New York, USA. She holdsa BA in painting from Shahed University in Tehran and is now pursuing a Master’s in Art Research at Alzahra University in Tehran. Khas uses a variety of materials to reflect on environmental issues.
By MAMORU ABE (Japan)
My work addresses two opposite phases, “being” and “not being.” It seeks to reflect the atmosphere of a field that lies outside the conceptual frame and to materialize visible yet shapeless forms through the massive and impressive substance of iron.
I ask myself, for instance, how I will be able to shape the serenity of the Shakotan Peninsula forest and the azure of the sea which I saw there for the first time. Learning this rich order of nature, I create works out of the inner conflict of these contradictory aspects of “being” and “not being.”
Bio of MAMORU ABE
Mamoru Abe is a Japanese sculptor with an international reputation whose work has been called stern and magical and compared to the ancient art of swordsmithing, with the iron forge as a kind
of shrine. Educated at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and the UK’s Royal College of Arts, he has been a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the USA. and Bergen ArkitektSkole in Norway and a visiting professor at the University of Oxford, UK He is currently a professor of Fine Art at the Fukuoko University of Education.
By NARAYAN PRASAD BOHAJU (Nepal)
I collect material from the surroundings of daily life – objects from markets, homes, and public places – and blend these haphazardly collected images into compact compositions that represent the reality of today's life, with its many adjustments. I want my paintings to feel like contemporary life, where we suffer due to lack of space, ever-increasing population, and changing climate.
Bio of NARAYAN PRASAD BOHAJU
Narayan Prasad Bohaju is a 27-yearold Nepali artist from Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley who is currently pursuing an MFA at Banaras Hindu University. He has had a solo exhibition in Kathmandu and participated in group exhibits and workshops in Nepal and India. He holds a BFA in Painting from Kathmandu University.
Change of Course
By PRASIIT STHAPIT (Nepal)
Susta was once perched firmly on the west bank of the Narayani River, which has long been considered the border between Nepal and India. But with the river changing course due to climate change and cutting persistently into Nepali territory, the village today finds itself on the east of the Narayani. India considers the new course of the river to be the boundary while Nepal disagrees, making Susta a contested portion of Nepal within India, surrounded on three sides by India and on the fourth by the Narayani. It is estimated that 14,860 hectares have come under Indian encroachment thus far.
The Himalayan Times reported on June 30, 2011 that the Narayani had breached 135 hectares of farmland during the monsoon in Susta alone. This has been occurring at an accelerated rate for almost a decade now. “There is the ‘Save Susta Campaign’ (a local movement established to protest against Indian advancement into their land) on one side and also the resistance with the river,” Laila Begum, a local, states. “How many battles must we fight?” But what are the issues that will be left to resolve if the land itself doesn’t exist anymore? This is an attempt to illustrate the sense of isolation that the people of Susta feel every day.
Bio of PRASIIT STHAPIT
Prasiit Sthapit is a Kathmandu-based visual storyteller whose work deals with societies at the borderline, both literally and figuratively. Through photography, he chooses to show the experiences he has shared with the people he has met, and what they mean to him. He is currently associated with photo. circle, an organization working towards building a strong community of photographers in Nepal, and Fuzz Factory Productions, a multimedia collective.
By SANJEEV MAHARJAN (Nepal)
This installation is a reinterpretation of images seen during my visit to Poon Hill and Ghandruk in the Annapurna region in 2010. I took lots of images of wood installed outside and at the corners of houses for everyday uses like cooking. Visually I was fascinated by it, but it made me think about dependency and the needs of people in rural Nepal. It also brought back childhood memories of my mother and grandmothers cooking our daily meals using wood and bushes from our field in Kathmandu. Now this has been replaced by gas stoves and cylinders. Day by day, we adapt new resources to fulfill our needs. This changes us in good or bad ways, but either way, our needs make us dependent. Building the structures inside the gallery puts that imagery in a new context and gives it a new meaning.
My goal was to collect as much of the wood and branches as possible from the countryside and fields around Kathmandu. I will not use wood that came from cutting trees. After dismantling the works, I will give all the wood to the people from the communities where I collected it. The soil I use comes from my parents’ field.
Bio of SANJEEV MAHARJAN
Sanjeev Maharjan is a freelance visual artist based in Kathmandu. He usually does painting but also experiments with installation. His inspiration comes from his surroundings. Through his work, he wants people to wake up and notice things they would normally pass by without thinking. He graduated from Kathmandu University Center for Art and Design in 2009. Since then he has participated in group exhibitions, art projects and workshops. He worked as artist-in-residence at Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center for six month in 2010.
By EELCO BRAND (Netherlands)
The oeuvre of Eelco Brand belongs to a pictorial tradition in which landscape and genre scenes play a leading role, but goes beyond the traditional forms of this genre. Realistic looking landscapes are combined with abstract components, absurdity and humor. The landscapes seem familiar to us, evoking the impression that we have seen them before -stereotypes, virtually constructed, but with a strong expressive power. But is not any visualization of landscapes constructed, even those we see in our mind's eye when we imagine a landscape? Brand's artwork encourages us to think about our perception of reality.
Bio of EELCO BRAND
Eelco Brand is a Dutch artist who studied painting but turned to working exclusively in film and images with 3D modelling. Born in 1969 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he has been exhibiting his works internationally since 1993 and has been exploring the potential of 3D technology since 2000. He lives and works in Breda, the Netherlands.
By JOB KOELEWIJN (Netherlands)
The basic idea for the work is to create a monument for Baruch Spinoza, the Dutch philosopher (1632-1677) who ranked as a major thinker in the rationalist tradition. His Ethics is a classic of Western philosophy. In his writings the crucial issues of metaphysics are exemplified. The project involves the performance of an audio book of Spinoza’s work ‘The Ethics’ in geometrical order, whereby the text is read out loud and shared with people from all over the world. So far the project has traveled to 11 countries; the last location was Mexico City. Choosing different countries for reading the text allows different dialects to add to the context of the work. The Ethics is divided into five parts, each of which consists of several definitions and axioms, followed by a series of propositions and corollaries. The text relates to emotions including desire, pleasure, pain, love, hatred, hope, fear, despair, joy, disappointment, humility, pride, anger, shame, cruelty, and benevolence.
Bio of JOB KOELEWIJN
Job Koelewijn (born in Spakenburg, the Netherlands, in 1962) lives and works in Amsterdam. He studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam from 1987 to 1992 and spent a further year at the Sandberg Institute. In 1996 he spent a year in New York as artist-in-residence at PS1, the contemporary art centre associated with MoMA. Koelewijn has shown his work at numerous exhibitions both in the Netherlands and abroad and has received the Charlotte Köhler Prize (1996), the Sandberg Prize (1999), and the Nebest Award (2002).
By ADEEL UZ ZAFAR (Pakistan)
Glaciers and streams are as important for Nepal as the sea is to the people of Karachi. Most rivers start in the mountains, so water bodies and their pollution effect a large population stretching from North to South.
My art is an illustrated storybook, written jointly by a Pakistani and Nepali writer and based on real life issues with lively characters and illustrations to catch the attention of the young audience. The bilingual story book is an investigation of ecological degradation to communicate problems – first with young people at the show, and then later as supplementary reading material in primary schools in both countries.
Bio of ADEEL UZ ZAFAR
Adeel uz Zafar is a Pakistani artist and illustrator of children’s books who lives and works in Karachi. His work was included in a recent exhibition showcasing a new wave of Pakistani artists, “The Rising Tide: New Directions of Art in Pakistan,” covered by The New York Times and other international media. Zafar has worked with influential publishing houses and textbook units in Pakistan and has had several group shows, including “Size Does Matter.” He holds a BFA in Painting with Distinction from the National College of Arts, Lahore, and currently teaches at Karachi Grammar School.
By YASIR HUSSAIN (Pakistan)
In structured interactive sessions online connecting Kathmandu with Karachi, people talk about the everyday; they speak of the corporal entities they represent and come across, creating a real connection that gives substance to otherwise abstract states of being by, for instance, chatting face to face with fishermen on Karachi's coast, urban farmers, activists, and others. The suddenness and chance of these interactions provides the play and the occasion for communication to become not just necessary, imperative and fun, but also sometimes desperate and halting in the face of imminent breakdown. This is in stark contrast to commercial TV, whose flow of images must never be allowed to stop. People-to-people interaction makes the hidden visible, and makes friends and collaborators out of strangers who may be distant geographically and time-wise. It is the closest thing we have to “popular” in-the-flesh interaction at a distance that still manages to be “real.”
Bio of YASIR HUSSAIN
Karachi-born Yasir Hussain is intrigued by the intersection of art and technology. He has participated in citizen movements, environmental and digital activism, and is active in environmental groups including the Greener Karachi Trust. He has worked in journalism, as an editor-publicist for Aga Khan University, and on public involvement with the UN on environmental and social impacts of large energy projects. He also experimented with citizen-based new media activism and worked with journalists and bloggers as part of the group People's Resistance. Educated in New York, he has lived and worked in New York, Bangkok and Karachi.
By DOMINIC SANSONI (Sri Lanka)
I like recording Sacred Space: the shrines, both large and small, that link this island. Many of these places of worship and reflection link with each other; they are a set of stepping stones that take one on a journey. One small Ganesh tree shrine will lead to the next. I am reminded of this often when I use one his many names, the Remover of Obstacles.
Our island is multi-religious, and following these stepping stones makes my journey fascinating. One might take me to a place of quiet and solitude --- a jungle shrine --- and another might lead into the midst of a festival. I might be led down a small path or reminded of the boundaries of a god’s territory.
Travelers will stop to make a small donation when entering or leaving such a domain, a ritual that can be seen every day. These journeys provide me with color, mystery, symbolism, intimacy and time for reflection in any environment -- a space and time for the soul.
What is heartening is to see a space shared by different religions -- a Buddhist flag next to a Catholic shrine, or a Hindu devale in the premises of a Buddhist temple – which, for me, symbolizes the underlying and older unity of our island.
Bio of DOMINIC SANSONI
Dominic Sansoni has been a professional photographer for 30 years, with an emphasis on documentary and travel assignments. His work has been published by TIME, Asiaweek, and Serendib Magazine, and clients have included UNICEF, the World Bank and Bloomberg News. Since 1979, he has also been director of a family-owned business, Barefoot Pvt Ltd, founded by his mother in the 1960s. Its core business is the design and weaving of cloth, primarily in cotton. Sansoni was educated at West Surrey College of Art and Design, UK; Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology; and in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he lives.
1. Kiaf-2012 (Kathmandu International Art Festival-2012) catalog
2. Kiaf-2012 Press release material
3. Kiaf-2012 official website (http://artmandu.org)
4. All images from kiaf-2012 Catalog
Video Sources: ArtMandu
You can get more information about Kiaf-2012 from official website ArtMandu
Siddhartha Art Foundation
Maligoun, Kathmandu, Nepal