Empty temples, stolen gods

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Empty temples, stolen gods

Apr 7, 2015-

Photo Circle is organising Remembering the Lost Sculptures of the Kathmandu Valley, an art exhibition by Joy Lynn Davis, from April 10 at the Nepal Art Council, Babermahal.

The exhibition has been sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal and is supported by Unesco and the Himalayan Art and Cultural Heritage Project.

As the title of the exhibition suggests, the show will feature 15 large-scale paintings that will recontextualise and visually repatriate sculptures that were stolen from around Nepal during different times. Though Davis’s paintings are primarily built upon the research done by Lain Singh Bangdel and Jurgen Schick, they are also a testament to Davis’s own research and documentation of   the numerous sites in Nepal, primarily in the Valley, which have lost their crown jewels to art thieves. The artist has used 24-karat gold to paint the stolen idols, so as to underscore the rampant commodification of these priceless works of art.

The exhibition celebrates Nepal’s rich cultural heritage, but at the same time, it also sparks debate about the ownership of culture and cultural heritages, the international art trade and the ongoing problem of art theft in Nepal and worldwide.

Joy Lynn Davis is an artist and art researcher from California, who currently resides in Kathmandu. She was the resident artist at the Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre from 2012-2013. She is also the founder of the Himalayan Art and Culture Heritage Project, a non-profit organisation working to preserve and promote awareness for the artistic and cultural heritage of Nepal and other parts of the Himalayan region.

The exhibition will be on till May 22

Published: 08-04-2015 08:56

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