Bangdel’s biography

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 14:

Against the Current: The Life of Lain Singh Bangdel’ was launched informally at Baggikhana Hall, Patan Dhoka on March 14. Don Messerschmidt, the author, read excerpts from the book and answered questions about the life of Bangdel and the making of the book.

Messerschmidt, a writer, anthropologist and consultant, knew Bangdel for over two decades. Bangdel was an eminent personality who is known as the Father of Modern Art in Nepal but besides being an artist, Bangdel was also a writer and a man of many other facets. He was best known for his book ‘Stolen Images of Nepal’, which caused quite a stir and raised an awareness of the cultural wealth of Nepal.

“The different aspects of Lain is written in different parts,” said Messerschmidt, “He was a man of many personalities. While writing this book, I learnt to appreciate the art of biography.”King Mahendra invited Lain Singh to Nepal in the 1960s. Until then, Bangdel had been living in London with his wife Manu. Once he returned to Nepal, he established the Nepal Art Council and began working for the promotion of modern art. He was the first one to hold a modern art exhibition and took the pains to explain his works to the people. This book collects the memories that shaped Bangdel’s life and made him the man he was.

During his last days, Lain Singh was working on a finding that he was very excited about. He was known to say that it would change the history of Nepal entirely. Dina Bangdel, his daughter, is working on this legacy that her father left. It is said that this book will be launched mid 2004.