Amalgamation of Nepali artExhibition showcases the diversity of contemporary Nepali art and explores current societal dynamics
Nestled within the historic confines of Baber Mahal Revisited, the ‘Amalgam’ art exhibition at Siddhartha Art Gallery is a vibrant tapestry of contemporary expressions of over 40 Nepali artists young and not-so-young.
A staple of Kathmandu’s annual art calendar since 2009, Amalgam aspires to foster connections between artists, art aficionados, writers, and patrons, all converging to celebrate creativity and vitality.
Initially begun as 'Monsoon Moods', the exhibition has evolved over time into Amalgam, but still happens during the wettest part of Nepal’s rainy season, embodying the melding of various viewpoints, concepts, and artistic forms.
The exhibition spans two venues within Baber Mahal Revisited: the main gallery showcases 54 items featuring diverse mediums such as acrylic, polymer clay, oil on canvas, sculpture.
‘Melting Life’ by Min Thapa is a painting meticulously composed of thousands of dots, masterfully capturing the urgency of the climate crisis.
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Teesha Shrestha’s ‘Beauty and the Beast II’ poignantly portrays the encroachment of modern cement structures upon the city’s cultural urbanscape.
Sara Koinch’s ‘Parallel Journeys’ is a reflection on a personal odyssey of transitions between traditional and contemporary norms sensitively conveyed evoking both worlds.
The visual diversity of the exhibition becomes remarkably apparent through the vibrant colour palette and the intricate play of textures on the first floor. In contrast, the second floor presents a more subdued tone with sepia and pen and ink hues, gently conjuring a sense of nostalgia and timelessness.
The annexe building has 25 artworks using mediums like knitwork, mixed media, embroidery, digital print, mandala work.
The common theme in both galleries is thoughtful exploration of contemporary societal dynamics with a compelling mix of themes that ranging from culture, religion, and traditionalism to materialism, climate change, and the modern world. Spiritualism and indigeneity are also explored.
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The convergence of established and emerging artists adds depth and contrast to the exhibitions. Curator Sangeeta Thapaexplains: “Amalgam is a platform that gives space to artists who have not got a chance to represent their art. Younger artists may feel left out because of the long waiting period to be seen. This is so they do not feel that way.”
Prithvi Shrestha from Bindu who collaborated on amalgam has his own artwork ‘Believe’ that hangs on the first floor of the art gallery.
"Our different cultures are getting lost, but the young generation still has veneration for an invisible force,” says Shrestha, pointing out his display. “The mask signifies that. When we put on the mask, we get the feeling of being god ourselves."
Shrestha adds that the mission of the exhibition is to spotlight the skill and creativity of artists from various backgrounds and experiences. Amalgam is successful in showcasing Nepal’s diversity.
Siddhartha Art Gallery
Till 27 August, 11pm to 5pm
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