Nepal Art Now in Vienna

Paintings of the Nepal Art Now Exhibition are in pre-display at Nepal Art Council for the next two weeks before being taken to Welt Museum in Vienna including this triptych by Sunil Sigdel. Photos: NEPAL ART COUNCIL

The Weltmuseum Wien, one of the most renowned ethnographic museums in the world, is organising a first-of-its kind exhibition to showcase the best works of Nepali contemporary and traditional art to a worldwide audience.

Weltmuseum is collaborating with the Nepal Art Council, a national institution founded in 1962 to promote the arts and artists in Nepal, is the home-country partner and collaborator for this project.

The Nepal Art Now Exhibition is scheduled for 11 April–05 November 2019 in Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and home to the great Hapsburg connoisseurs of the arts.

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This exhibition will include 100 art works by 37 Nepali artists and will be the first major exhibition of Nepali art outside Nepal. The selection has been carefully curated by Christian Shicklgruber, Director of the Weltmuseum in Vienna and assisted by Nepal Art Council. It will be showcased at Welt Museum, which used to be the Hofburg Imperial Palace.

The project was conceived in 2016, by the late Dina Bangdel, and was co-curated by Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha from the Nepal Art Council Council. The project was coordinated by Sagar SJB Rana, Vice-President of the Council.

“The exhibition will include original art works by the premier artists dating from the 1950s, the senior and the young emerging artists of today will compliment and enrich the collection,” Rana said.

Some of the art were commissioned especially for the Vienna exhibition, while others were borrowed from collectors and the artists directly. The art works are embedded in the culture and traditions of Nepal but also discuss and probe into current international issues and social concerns, giving them a global relevance.

Art historians emphasise the overriding influence of the art of the European masters in the evolution of contemporary art in Asia. The exhibition will demonstrate this cultural cross-pollination and and serve to highlight Nepali talent that builds on the country’s traditional art-forms fused to modern influences and techniques. The curators say that the works of Nepali artists underline the coming of age of Asian contemporary art that now compares well with the best works in the West.

While art works will dominate the exhibition, some outstanding sculptures and a few representative pieces of traditional metal, wooden and stone art will also be on display in Vienna to demonstrate and inform the international art community and visitors that these genre of art forms occupy equally important and vibrant space in the art of Nepal.

A pre-show exhibition will be held at the Nepal Art Council 13-21 December before the pieces are flown to Vienna.

Nepal Art Now Pre-Exhibition

Nepal Art Council

Baber Mahal

13-21 December