Love of the people

KATHMANDU:

‘Caravan’, the movie captured the hearts of many people all over the world. It was nominated for the Oscar Awards in 1999 and opened a new reason to explore. Tenzin Norbu brings back the story of bravery and courage of the people of the Dolpo region through his books and paintings.

‘Dolpo Lives’, an exhibition of Norbu’s paintings at Shambala Garden, Hotel Shangri-la is a fascinating display. Norbu has a technique that is reflects his thangka influence. “I come from a five generation of thangka painters,” he says. Of the three ‘Himalaya’ books that he published in French, 63,000 have already been sold. Karma is growing up and Tsering is helping him. Pema and Tsering are married and she is expecting. This particular exhibition deals with Karma’s journey into manhood.

“I was in the movie also, a small part,” laughs Norbu. “I was born and brought up in Dolpo. When I was 20 years old, I sold all that I had in the village and boarded the plane. We used to say that the aeroplane was a big dragon but it brought me to Kathmandu.”

Norbu speaks of his amazement at seeing cars, busses, electricity and such sophistication. “I hadn’t even seen a big tree because in my village, there’re no big trees. We didn’t even know of Kathmandu then,” says Norbu who is trying to help the Dolpo people back home. He began a bag-making business to provide them with work but his main line of profession is still fine arts.

Hotel Shangri-La has provided Norbu with venue and accommodation for the duration of the

exhibition. Twenty per cent of the funds raised from the sale of the paintings will be donated to the Kula Mountain School in Upper Dolpo.

The exhibition continues till March 21.

Age of innocence

KATHMANDU: Nepal in the seventies lives as an unforgettable age in the memory of many. A time when they say,

the valley was untouched and pure. Kanak Mani Dixit captures the innocence this age in his exhibition of photographs ‘Photodocument: Nineteen Seventies’ at the Siddhartha Art Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited.

Kanak Mani Dixit is a renowned journalist who began his journey into the hills, mountains and valleys in 1971, just out of high school. He began writing and photographing all that he saw. These pictures are on display and they have an innocence that is remarkable especially in black and white. The images were a part of his first solo photo exhibition held in 1979, which according to The Gorkhapatra was the first solo photograph exhibition by a Nepali.

“Some of the images reflect the touching naïveté of a country still emerging from historic isolation and grappling with new challenges,” said Sangeeta Thapa, director of Siddhartha Art Gallery. An interesting self-portrait of the photographer perched on a cliff where he scrambled in the brief 12 seconds that the camera allowed shows the innocence with which he himself saw the world. The sweeping scenes en route to Helambu are breathtaking and in the small observations made through a keen journalist’s eye, Dixit has included clever captions.

A nostalgic journey through the past, a Nepal that once was, this documentation of an age gone by is a must-see. The proceeds of the exhibition will go to the patient support fund of the Gangalal National Heart Centre at Bansbari. After March 19, the exhibition will move to the Baggikhana gallery in Patan Dhoka.

The exhibition continues at Siddhartha Art Gallery till March 19. — HNS