Dhaka Art Summit
FEBRUARY 2-10, 2018 SHILPAKALA ACADEMY, DHAKA, BANGLADESH
From the series “This is My Home, My Land and My Country...” - HIT MAN GURUNG
Medium : Acid free ink Drawing / digital print on hahnemuhle paper .
Dimension : each 91.44 cm × 121.92 cm
The Tharus are an indigenous group of the Southern Tarai plains of Nepal. They have been subjected to centuries of state orchestrated marginalization and most are still struggling to get equal rights as citizens of Nepal. Although this issue has been taken up multiple times during major political struggles and revolutions, it has never been resolved. Political parties in Nepal have relied on the votes of Tharu citizens to enter halls of power, but rarely are the concerns of Tharu people addressed.
On September 20, 2015, Nepal’s new constitution was promulgated. The constitution demarcated the boundaries of new provinces in an effort to decentralize political power within Nepal. Political movements spearheaded by Tharu groups in wetern-Nepal were demanding for an ‘Autonomous Tharuhat Province’. However, the constitution offered no concrete recognition or decentralization of power to the Tharus. In the aftermath of the constitution’s passing, massive protests were organized in the Southern plains. These were often met with harsh violence from government security forces, leading to widespread death and displacement.
These photographs and drawings address the contradiction between politically motivated narratives and the lived reality of the Tharu community. It also highlights the bitter truth that indigenous citizens often face complications, fear, and insecurity in their own lands.
“I want to die in my own house” - SUBAS TAMANG
Medium: Carving on slate stone, slate and Iron.
Dimension : 396.24 Cm / 274 Cm
Commissioned and produced with support from Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Samdani Art Foundation.
Subas Tamang’s, ‘I Want To Die In My Own House,’ is an autobiographical commentary that also represents the dreams of thousands of dislocated families in Nepal. When people move, they usually rent a room, make a whole lot of compromises, and struggle for basic survival. A permanent address is an important marker of a person’s identity in our culture and symbolizes wealth and prosperity. The wish for a house may come true for some but for most fortune remains uncertain. The portraits of Tamang’s parents are carved on slate, referencing the vernacular materials used for constructing the roofs houses in rural Nepal.
"My Great-Great-Grandmother’s Shawl" -SHEELASHA RAJBHANDARI
‘A Beast, A God and A Line’
Feb 7 -17, 2018 : Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh
Mar 17 - 20, 2018 : Para Site, Contemporary Art Center, Hong Kong.
Jun 6-24, 2018 : TS1 Yangon, Myanmar.
Jul 20 -7 Oct, 2018 : Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Poland.
Medium : Digitally printed photographs, recreated hand printed muslin 'Damber Kumari' shawl, clothing tags, counterfeited clothing tags.
Photos: Triptych, 60.96cm x 86.36cm each without frame
Shawls: 205 cm x 112cm (each), 2 pieces.
The artist traces socio-political changes in her native Nepal through changes in cultures of clothing within her own family. She references her maternal great- great- grandmother’s traditional Damber Kumari shawl, which contained pieces of fabric from Nepal and Varanasi, and imitated textiles from Dhaka. Adding to these layered histories, she embroiders real and counterfeited brand tags from cheap mass-produced clothes from India and China, juxtaposing these with images of her grandmother wearing the shawl. Rajbhandari raises questions of authenticity and copying that go into the production of culturally significant items, creating an artefact for the contemporary moment, where diverse textile cultures are being flattened out by mass-production.