5-11 June 2015 #761

Art aid for Nepal

Artists in London organised a fundraising exhibition to support artists and art projects in Nepal affected by the earthquake
Stéphane Huët

Konrad Gabriel

There have been many ways the world is helping Nepal in its time of need, and one of them is how artists in London have got together to sell postcards made by noted artists. The Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre (KCAC) organised an exhibition of the postcards titled Thinking of You on 21 May in London’s The House of Illustration.

“Artists who want to help can donate a piece of artwork and buyers can end up with a wonderful work of art,” said Celia Washington of KCAC who brought together the artists who donated their work. The postcards were sold for £50 each, and all the money raised will go to support earthquake relief operations in Nepal. Over 100 artists took part in the project including Richard Long and Antony Gormley.

Subash Thebe, a Nepali artist studying at St Martins School of Art in London, also donated his work to Thinking of You because he said he was moved to help people back home in any way he could. “As an artist, it was the perfect platform to lend my support,” said Thebe, who did his artist residency at KCAC’s studio in Patan last summer.

The exhibition lasted for two hours at The House of Illustration last month and was a ‘secret exhibition’ as signatures of the artists were on the back of the artwork and the public didn’t know whose art they were buying. “We have extended the online sale indefinitely and will continue adding artwork when it is donated by artists,” said Washington.

ATISH CHITRAKAR

The money collected during Thinking of You is dedicated to supporting artists and art projects in Nepal affected by the earthquake, and KCAC will publish the amount of money raised and the list of supported projects on its website.

Among the activities supported is the Rebuilding Bungamati Project launched by artist Sujan Chitrakar of Kathmandu University School of Art. Thinking of You is also helping artist Milan Rai and his team of volunteers who have been organising clean-ups, and building toilets. photo.circle’s NepalPhotoProject has recently been added to the list of supported projects.

So far, Thinking of You has raised £4,000 and aims to support other grassroots projects in the 14 districts affected by the quake.


Gallery to the field

Set up after the earthquake by photographer Sumit Dayal with photo.circle, NepalPhotoProject is a participatory platform where contributors can share their photos on social media by using the hashtag #nepalphotoproject.

“The intention was to create a space for stories that go beyond news,” says Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati from photo.circle.

NepalPhotoProject has had over 70 contributors post around 500 photos. It is followed by 61,000 people on Instagram and 7,000 on Facebook.

KCAC’s Thinking of You will financially support one photographer, chosen by photo.circle, who will document the long-term rebuilding process in Nepal over the span of a year. “NepalPhotoProject will hopefully contribute towards providing visibility of Nepal’s story on social media, as most of the international press have left,” says Gurung Kakshapati.

Parish Shakya

'Rebuilding Bungamati', led by Sujan Chitrakar from Kathmandu University’s Centre for Art and Design, is helping facilitate the development process of the village by empowering women, helping schools and supporting local authorities by making a five-year plan for Bungamati (see picture).

“Bungamati has a rich cultural importance and as our department is related to art, we thought it was an ideal town to adopt,” Chitrakar says. About 40 art students have provided roofing for over 500 people, and are working with school children.

As a long term goal, Chitrakar aims at establishing Bungamati as a unique destination for art and culture. KCAC will also support the Rebuilding Bungamati’s outreach program. “This would be to conduct art classes in four schools and engage students in disseminating hope,” says Chitrakar.

Read also:

Saving Swayambhu, Stéphane Huët

Nepal 425, Kunda Dixit

Survivors help survivors, Kunda Dixit

With a little help, Stéphane Huët

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