(Organized by Bindu, a space for artists)
"Study of History/ Study of History I" - Subas Tamang
Subas Tamang belongs to the indigenous Tamsaling community, much of whose history is based on oral narrative traditions which are not well-documented. Even though the Tamsaling community makes up 5% of Nepal’s total population, they have been historically marginalized; hence most are underprivileged with little access to political and social systems. To develop a deeper understanding of his community's present conditions, the artist seeks to study the history and development of culture and social fabric of his community.
Subas's works are based on photographs taken by Volkmar Wentzel in 1949. The photographs capture a moment in history when Mercedes car was hand carried by a group of men over a rocky, hilly trail from Bhimphedi to Kathmandu. Surrounded by hills, Nepal’s capital, the Kathmandu valley, was the only city with a paved stretch of road at that time.
Subas wants to look at this photograph through the Tamang people's perspective as most of the people carrying the car belong to the Tamsaling community. He thinks this photograph is evidence of the dark side of that time - how the ruling class and the elites who imported the cars were not interested in the development of the country but were only focused on fulfilling their own luxurious tastes. And from generations to generations, communities like the Tamsaling had to pay the price of their luxury; the impact can be seen to this date. This artwork, "Study of History" is an attempt to understand, rediscover and reinterpret Subas's communal history .
Image references: Volkmar Wentzel, National Geographic