Artists opting for online exhibitions as lockdown continues


As the global momentum continues to alter, adjust and struggle with COVID-19, there are hardly any professional or creative spheres that has not been untouched by the pandemic. While globally art fairs like Art Basel and Art Dubai have started going online with galleries across the world setting online viewing rooms, in Nepal, a first of its kind 360 virtual tour exhibition ‘Tangential Stress’ is currently going on.

Organised by Museum of Nepali Arts (MoNA), Kathmandu Guest House, Thamel, the exhibition is currently showcasing artworks of 19 artistes.

As per Rajan Sakya, Director at MoNA, the museum’s vision aligns with the objective of doing virtual exhibitions.

He says, “We had plans of opening MoNA, the first ever contemporary and traditional art museum two months ago but due to the lockdown we have postponed the opening.”

He adds, “As the museum’s vision is to promote Nepali art forms among people of our country, we have brought together works of various artists that creatively project the effects of coronavirus on people’s physical and mental well-being.”

Artist Sagar Manandhar’s artwork Creativity Never Dies, that depicts an abstract representation of the current global situation, is also being exhibited at the virtual exhibition. Against a blue backdrop of abstract strokes, Manandhar has painted the world map with horizontal lines that depict the lockdown.

Manandhar shares, “I was hit with the awareness that creativity is something that is ever-flowing in our life and in nature, that is why I feel that it never dies.”

Likewise, artworks of his father and veteran artist Kiran Manandhar, along with artists Pradip Kumar Bajracharya, Erina Tamrakar among others are also being displayed.

Sakya informs, “These artworks will be displayed in the museum after the lockdown, and for the time being we are going to continue this virtual tour exhibition as we want to motivate people through art while also giving a platform to artists and promote it.”

Artist Sarita  Dangol, Curator at Classic Gallery, also shares that  as the pandemic has made it difficult to conduct physical shows, her gallery is resorting to conducting online exhibitions on Instagram.

As per her, an exhibition titled ‘Infinite Thoughts’ that encompasses works of 50 female artists is currently being organised by the gallery.

“We have moved online with the exhibitions that we were booked with. It is a difficult time for the art community as it is for everyone else, so we are adjusting to news ways,” Dangol shares. Works of Sunita Rana, Sushila Singh, Sony Rai among others are being showcased.

Artist Sushma Rajbhandari informs that she also conducted a solo art exhibition called ‘New Concept of God’ at Art Space recently where she also successfully sold a painting.

She says, “The artist community is trying to adapt to this new normal and are making our move online.”

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 20, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.