Taking Nepali art beyond borders

KATHMANDU: Highlighting the need for international exposure of Nepali art, ‘Curating Asian Art, Art of Nepal Exhibition in Musee Guimet, Paris’, a talk programme, was held on May 8 at Nepal Art Council, Babermahal, organised by Nepal Art Council and the Embassy of France.

President of Musee Guimet (museum in France), Sophie Makariou; Curator of Himalayan Art, Nathalie Bazin and Art Historian / Co-curator of Himalayan Art, Dr Dina Bangdel came together to talk about why Nepali art, having historical importance, should be taken outside of Nepal for exhibitions.

Makariou gave a power point presentation on how Musee Guimet has exhibited precious artworks from different parts of Asia including India, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Bhutan among others. She talked on how the artworks are transported from one place to another, the process of restoration and preservation of those artworks through documentation.

The artworks of Nepal is yet to be exhibited at the Musee Guimet. But Makariou shared that “the agreement process to take artefacts of Nepal there is on its way where Nepal’s Minister of Culture is positive about it”. According to her, 60 artworks made of bronze, wood, stone and others from the National Museum, Patan Museum and Bhaktapur Museum of Nepal have already been selected.

“Most of the people abroad know nothing about the artistic heritage of Nepal and it is very important to show them. We will be taking the same exhibition to Singapore, Austria and France in 2018-2019 as well. The Nepalis residing in these places will also be able to learn about their heritage through this exhibition,” she cited of the importance of Nepali artworks adding, “We now know heritage can get destroyed totally and it is important to exhibit before any other tragic incident takes place.”

The effort for international exhibition has been going on from 2014, as per Dr Bangdel. She feels it is necessary to “let the world know the art of wood carving of Nepali art heritage which even survived the quake as such artworks are not only our heritage but world’s heritage. But, if the government does not support us, then there won’t be any exhibition”.