Art openings in Nepal Feed

Live from Kathmandu: Art and textiles

Last night was the opening of an exhibit featuring the collection of Barbara Adams, a woman who first traveled to Nepal 50 years ago  -- and stayed.

This is a detail of a textile from China.   The man's expressive face is no larger than a quarter(or a 2 Rupee coin), but the degree of emotion that the artist was able to convey with the tightly woven threads is amazing.  

Set on a larger panel, the faces were embroidered separately and added later to the piece.

The faces of the ladies did not fare so well.

Barbara Adams, 80, the striking white-haired lady above in a kelly green dress with a white purse, first came to Nepal in 1961 to report on the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.   She got there late to see the Queen, but met and fell in love with the younger brother of then-king Mahendra, Prince Bhashundara.   She collected textiles from every country she visited in Asia since and a small part of her collection is offered here at the Siddartha Gallery at Babar Mahal Revisted in Kathmandu. 

The exhibit featured hats, as well as other decorative, devotional and practical items.  

The thing that most impressed me was the news that Barbara is starting a program to keep young Nepalis from 'going out' - a euphemism for leaving the country to work and sending home remittance money.   All of the textiles featured are for sale and the proceeds will be donated to her new project that will pay young Nepalis room, board and a small stipend to 'go out' instead into the hills to help their fellow Nepalis.   At the end of the year, a substantial payment of $150,000 NRupees will be given all at once to give the worker a large downpayment to finance their dream.  You can read Barbara's recent editorial in the Kathmandu Post about the project here.  

Sangeeta Thapa, director of the Siddhartha Gallery, opens the exhibit with a short speech explaining the exhibit and introducing us to the artists.   Ilsa Brittain's fine paintings entitled "Female Substantive" dominated the ground floor of the gallery with her figurative/abstract oils.   You will have to forgive me, I was having so much fun at this opening, talking with friends that I forgot to take some photos of her work.   You will have to visit the Siddhartha Gallery website to enjoy samples of her art.


Back to the Danger Dogs and their inspiration:  

JK has a nice home and a nice Beware of Dog sign.

This is definitely the 'Dog of the Day'.   they seem to have had a bit of trouble with the lettering.   Beware of Food?   Did they misspell dog as god?  

Here is a more in focus shot of Pumpkin, by Megh Raj. 

Gotta go!  Today is Saturday and I have parties and events to attend.

Stay tuned.   More tomorrow.

I am back in Nepal for the 9th Danger Dog trip and am accepting commissions now.   I'll be back to the states in early June, just in time for Father's Day presents.  


To order, please send me a photo of your pet.   I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out, be framed or unframed.

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

Send your photo to or find out more at

Let's keep these artists painting.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.


Hello from Dogmandu!


Live from Kathmandu! Fabulous Art!

After a 30-hour journey, I arrived in Kathmandu and hit the ground running!

Buddha sculpture made from trash bags and chicken wire
Karl Knapp's fabulous Buddha Sculpture made from plastic bags

At the new Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center in Jhamsikhel, there was an installation which was the perfect meld of art, eco-science and social conscience.   Featuring the artworks of Nepali and French artists, the piece de resistance was this 5-meter Buddha by Karl Knapp, constructed with chicken wire covered with colorful recycled plactic bags, this exhibit was part of the Planet Nepal Festival of Arts and Environment.    You can find an earlier review of Karl's work in Kathmandu here:

The woven petals in front of 'The Recycled Buddha' are by Ashmina Ranjil, a contemporary artist from Kathmandu.

Rickshaw art made form tires
Rickshaw art made from tires


Also included as part of the exhibit was the Rickshaw Project - an artistic take on the most ecologically sound mode of transport.   The rickshaw above is made from recycled bicycle tires by Sanjana Joshi

Rickshaw art in Kathmandu
Rickshaw art

Another of the 3 rickshaws, this one by the artist Om Khatri.   As part of the Festival, the three circulated through the streets of Kathmandu, handing out pamplets explaining how the local people can help sustain the environment on a personal level.  

Golden sculptures of buses and rickshaws
Transportation art in Kathmandu

This multi-media exhibit included these masks. 

A photo exhibition by Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati asks dificult questions and makes one think about the future of the global warming that starts at the top here in Nepal, the Roof of the World.

Sculpture of a giant cactus made from soda bottles
Cactus sculpture made from plastic bottles

This giant Suhuaro cactus made of recycled soda bottles was a sight to behold.   I cannot find the name of the artist in the literature provided.  

The evening ended with a documentary film that strikingly showed the pollution that is choking Kathmandu Valley in a dramatic way.   Very well-edited and shot, I recommend trying to see this short film named Pani (Water) by Sushma Joshi.   You will be glad you did.

I can't begin to do justice to this exhibit with my limited time, but please visit the website to find out more.

Guard dog in Kathmandu
Guard dog in Kathmandu

While trying to find the gallery, I came across this Nepali Danger Dog zealously guarding his turf.  

Seems I came late to the party, missing a great 3 day show at the Patan Museum and an installation at Patan's Durbar Square, but better late than never!

I even got a chance to talk with France's Ambassador to Nepal!

By the way, this exhibit would not have been possible without the help of Kathmandu's Alliance Francaise.   If you are in Paris on November 20 and 21, 2010, there will be a reprise of this exhibit.   Go to the website to find out those locations.  

Remember tomorrow is the Day of the Dog.   Stay tuned.

Gallery hopping and parties in Kathmandu!

Well, as you know, I'm never one to miss a good opening exhibit, and being in Kathmandu is no exception.  Friday is the big night around this town.   Saturday is the only day off in a 6-day work week.   Here are some shots from the exhibit "Divinity of the Common Life" a world-class multidisciplinary artistic performance.   First the pyrotechnic extravaganza outdoors with music, dancing, theater, and art intertwined. 100_4045 This first event of this free exhibit was outdoors at a public bandshell, on a perfect November evening.  There was lots to watch and look at, and believe me, I have never been so close to fireworks in my life.   They were setting them off what seemed like 6 feet away, and we were showered in sparks.100_4048  A couple of weeks later, they had an exhibit that included photos of the above show and the preparation leading up to it.   Openings are different here in Kathmandu, often including speeches as a matter of course.   There are lots of press photographers, as Kathmandu has over 28 daily newspapers!  The exhibit continued the explosive theme with fireworks fashioned from marigolds and colorful wrappings from the fireworks themselves suspended over large mirrors.100_4260Held in the large new Nepal Arts Council building in Babar Mahal, the show was well-attended by 100's of art lovers of all ages and nationalities.   As is common in the Kathmandu art scene, this was a co-production between Nepali and foreign artists.   In this case, the Alliance Francaise was a sponsor. 100_4277  Above is the artist Karl Knapp being interviewed by the Kantipur Television reporter.   100_4279 Above is the artist Tenzin Norbu Gurung from Dolpo, who also exhibits at the Lotus Gallery in Thamel.   You may have seen him or his work in the Oscar-nominated movie "Caravan", alternatively titled "Himalaya" in some markets.   Tenzin has the best smile, dresses beautifully, carries himself with an inner calm and dignity and confidence that is remarkable in its presence.   He's represented by Jim Aplington and has a respectable following due both to the quality of his work and his celebrity. Sorry I didn't get a better picture of his work, but here goes:   Go to for more info.100_4249

Kathmandu has a thriving art community with very short exhibition slots (sometimes just a week or two) and lax gallery hours.   I can remember once taking a taxi across town to view the last day of an exhibit only to find the doors locked three hours early and nothing to do about it!