A public program of exchange and peer learning fellowship, Danfe Exchange gave birth to three creative collaborations.
Danfe Exchange began on May 2, when fellows introduced themselves, got into pairs, conceptualised their ideas, and with multiple brainstorming sessions and workshops, prepared to install at the Gallery Of Creatives, where the exhibition was housed for a week, later extended for a week more. The artists were paired in three groups according to their artistic practices, interests, and life experiences. The writers were given information on their prompts to consider their bodies of text.
The exhibition was held in the Gallery Of Creatives at Thamel, an ideal location for the exhibition as it is flocked with tourists and youngsters all day long. It showcased the works of three artist duos and three writers, who explored the theme of ‘Time and Society’.
Danfe Arts organised a fellowship programme a few months before this art exhibition, where the team selected the artists and organised a workshop relevant to this exhibition.
The exhibition showcased the fellowship of work regarding all their learnings over a time period of two months. It was partially funded by the Swiss Embassy, where the artists were given a specific budget to develop their concepts for this exhibition. Most of the art pieces there were not for sale and only for art installation.
DOMESTICATED NATURE (SHUBHEKSHYA SINKHWAL and LEO JHANKAR)
This art piece focused on nature and how you can take nature, be creative with it, and utilise the product. The artists took aloe vera as a metaphor for representing nature. They tried to convey that whatever you can take from nature can be brought home and can be used in different forms. Sinkhwal and Jhankar attempted to investigate the human-plant relationship and its associated memories. The plant was specifically chosen for its versatility.
DON'T FORGET ME (KRIPA SHAKYA and ZUBBIN DHITAL)
This phenomenal piece of art focused on the means of communication—then and now. The letters and the virtual texts depicted the difference in communication as time passed. In an attempt to travel back in time, Shakya and Dhital collected a large number of archival conversations in the form of letters, postcards, and notebooks and examined how these mediums progressed before and after the advent of social media. The masterpiece is a conflict between the idea of having a letter that was more heartfelt in the old times or the modern-day privilege of getting to text your loved ones instantly when you miss them. They attempted to demonstrate how digital conversations differ in frequency, tone, feeling, and imagery. The artwork investigates and interprets this ongoing transformation in a deeply personal way, addressing the nostalgia of shared family histories and friendships.
AT THE CLASSROOM (SUSHANT SHREE RAJBHANDARI and NIRVIK MASKEY)
The dome-like set-up used for this art piece was a metaphor for the four walls of the classroom, and the vase hanging above them portrayed students in the class. Their work was a metaphor for how our educational system combines people from all walks of life into a system that does not work the same for everyone. Rajbhandari and Maskey’s installation was based on the metaphor of plants and people in an artistic style that immediately attracts the onlookers.
Rajbhandari (Ryan) is a painter, digital illustrator, audio-visual installation, pen and ink artist, and performer. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Painting from Sirjana College of Fine Arts. His passion is music, and he plays instruments such as the jaw-harp, ocarina, and spoon. He performs throat singing in the ethnofusion/experimental band 'Stotram.' Pursuing art and music remains a therapeutic and expressive journey, as he shared,“ I am currently experimenting in art and playing with sounds.”
Entirely self taught, Zubbin Dhital is an artist working in the mediums of painting and drawing. Influenced by graffiti, antiquity and contemporary art practices, he aims to make works that challenge the audiences' notions of what art has traditionally looked like. His practice is experimental in nature, improvising the composition with dense layers of drawings, words and mark making, expressing inner primal notions through a contemporary lens.
Kripa Shakya is a visual artist based in Lalitpur. She is a graduate from Kathmandu University School of Arts, Department of art and design from 2020. During her academic years she learned how to connect with herself and her surroundings through art, hence she tries to talk about the bonds that help two generations to come together. Her keen interest in stories from a local level perspective brings her more close to her artworks emotionally. Although she has been working with photography as a medium to express her ideas, she feels the need to experiment more at this stage of her journey.
Shubhekshya Sinkhwal is a BFA student at Sirjana College of Fine Arts pursuing Graphics Communications as a major. She experiments with various fine art mediums such as graphite, charcoal, watercolor, as well as pen and ink. She has exhibited her work in two consecutive National Exhibitions of Fine Arts in 2078 and 2079 B.S. In addition to pen and ink, she is drawn to photography as a visual medium where she explores image making and storytelling as an expressive art form.
Leo Jhankar is a Kathmandu-based artist who mainly works with pen and ink drawings and new media. Jhankar holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Lalit Kala Campus and frequently collaborates with fellow artists, galleries and art schools. In his recent practice, he attempts to express the relationship between nature, culture and technology while also presenting the impacts and influence of different cultures, innovation and modern-day technology in the Nepali culture.
Nirvik Maskey is an artist who is constantly exploring and experimenting to express his views through his art. He experiments with combining mediums; watercolours, gouache, pen and ink, with mediums such as oils, acrylics, used objects and now installation and video art. He is currently drawn to surrealism, experiential, and experimental art. He enjoys exploring and delving deeply into subjects that pique his interest and sees this as a form of healing and self-exploration.
Prajjwal is currently pursuing Bachelor in Economics at Kathmandu University School of Arts. Fascinated by all forms of literature, he is enthusiastic about writing since childhood. Particularly, poetry has become a medium for him to express his heart ever since. His poems are an attempt to connect with people's lives through simple lines. He writes in English, Nepali, and Hindi. He was invited as a featured poet in Perth Poetry Club, Australia two years ago.
Ritu Rajbanshi is a writer who does not write as much as she wants to and hates that she doesn't want to write as much as she should. She is currently based in Kathmandu and is a part of Nepal Tea Collective as their content manager. She enjoys reading fiction, watching movies, drinking tea and swimming.
Shranup Tandukar is a storyteller first and foremost. An interest in literature that began from the adventures of Tintin and Asterix has now led him to listen, write, and share stories as a Culture and Arts journalist. In his free time, he is usually found nose-deep in some classic literature, pondering with awe-filled eyes in art galleries, being enthralled by local theatre plays, or enjoying slow-paced films. He finds poetry to be his natural medium of expression but he aspires to write a decent piece of fictional prose someday.
Text by: Anjila Khadka
Photos by: Bidyash Dangol
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