Shining light on Bhaktapur’s exquisite artSiddhartha Art Gallery’s latest exhibition showcases over 60 traditional and modern artworks by artists from the city of devotees.
Siddhartha Art Gallery’s newest exhibition, ‘From Bhaktapur to Kantipur’ features 50 paubha and 19 contemporary paintings, all by artists of Bhaktapur. With an aim to shed light on the unique artistic practices of Bhaktapur—both paubha and contemporary—the gallery has collaborated with Khwopa Paubha Chwomi Pucha and Devotee Artist Circle to create a show that reflects the dynamism of the city.
‘From Bhaktapur to Kantipur’ opened on April 19. The exhibition's opening was jointly inaugurated by eminent paubha artist Mukti Singh Thapa and Amod Rajbhandari from the Mercantile Group. The opening was accompanied by a traditional performance by Neo Fusion Baja Samuha and a samay baji spread.
Khwopa Paubha Chwomi Pucha is a 28-member paubha artist group that works on preserving the tradition and history of paubha art in Bhaktapur. Before this, they had six group exhibitions which all took place in Bhaktapur. As the exhibition title suggests, this is the first time the group has shown their artworks in Kantipur, the old name for Kathmandu. Like most paubha artworks, the works showcased at the gallery feature legends, myths and detailed portrayals of various Hindu and Buddhist gods. The paintings are accompanied by descriptive labels that shed light on the history and significance of the subjects.
As for Devotee Artist Circle, it is a collective of contemporary artists focused on telling modern stories via their praxis. The contemporary artworks are placed in the gallery’s annexe, and the works range from depictions of lakheys (by Bal Krishna Banmala) to a painting of two puppies drawn on a skateboard (by Sudeep Balla).
According to the gallery’s director, Sangeeta Thapa, this exhibition aims to encourage “future collaborations [among traditional and contemporary artists] that will serve to assert Bhaktapur as a hub for the arts.”
What: From Bhaktapur to Kantipur
Where: Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babermahal Revisited, Kathmandu
When: Till May 19
Time: 11 am to 5 pm (Sunday to Friday), 12 pm to 5 pm on Saturday