Artmandu. The city as a catalyst
Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival. Like the precursory Festivals, whose 2009 and 2012 editions centered on the themes ‘Status of Women’ and ‘Earth|Body|Mind’, the Triennale thematically engages particular social issues while advancing a nuanced approach to promote the pedagogical potential of the arts. Through the Triennale, organizer Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) presents multiple perspectives on edition themes, to educate audiences and engage society in critical dialogue. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition (KT 2017) will be dedicated to the theme of ‘The City’.
24 March - 9 April 2017
Exhibitions will be held between 24 March and 9 April 2017, at multiple venues across the Kathmandu Valley. The central exhibition, ‘The City: My Studio/The City: My Life’ will be directed by curator Philippe Van Cauteren. Additional curated showcases will be held alongside the central exhibition to present multiple world-perspectives on the central theme. These showcases are being organized by institutional partners and curators independently with support from KT 2017 as a local partner.
Philippe Van Cauteren is the Artistic Director of the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.) in Ghent, Belgium, a contemporary art museum primarily focused on artists and their practice. It functions as an art laboratory, a place for experimentation, research and innovation. The museum poses questions, stimulates reflection and celebrates doubt.
In the words of Van Cauteren, “The title of the exhibition ‘The City: My Studio/The City: My Life’ clearly articulates the two functions that the city can have for an artist. Kathmandu (or any other city) as a working place, as the mold for artistic thinking and process. The city is also an arena where daily life is ‘performed’ in its richness and complexity. Invited artists are not to illustrate this definition of the city or urban life, but instead to take the city as a catalyst – as a laboratory to generate artistic forms, gestures, acts, ideas; art works. The city is much like a container in which, through random ways, direct and indirect, history, habits and traditions are preserved. The socio-cultural texture of the place; colors and odors; the past, the present and the future; stories’ facts and fiction—all of it activated in the same. The artist thus will aim to be an urban archaeologist who digs from the city these elements. In this exhibition Kathmandu serves as a unique and marvelous hub where encounters are generated between artists from Nepal and around the world.”
There are two main components of KT 2017: Exhibitions and Encounters. Exhibitions include all visual content and Encounters encapsulate the educational outreach built on the production and presentation of exhibits. It will also host outreach events in public spaces and incorporate collateral events created by partners in its overall program. KT 2017 Exhibitions will see the participation of over 50 artists from more than 25 countries, with a considerable percentage representing Nepal. The roster has been selected by curator Philippe Van Cauteren to represent an inclusive list of established and younger artists covering different media actively used by artists today. International selections have been made on artists’ capacity to develop their work in Kathmandu within a limited timeframe prior to the exhibition, and also on their commitment to engage in capacity building for Nepal’s art scene. Although not decisive, these two elements—through the dialogue and exchange between the Nepali art community and visiting artists—will contribute to the dynamicity of the exhibition.
Support and sponsorship
For those who would like to support the KT 2017 ‘Youth, Community and Children Engagement’ program, please visit their Indiegogo campaign page for more information: https://tinyurl.com/kt2017campaign.
KT 2017 will be sponsoring 12 art reporters from around the world who will gain VIP access during the Triennale. Anyone wishing to apply should get in touch with the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.