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Art festival, a ‘welcome respite’

KATHMANDU, NOV 25 - As part of an artpiece exploring the relationship between humans and nature, Japanese artist Takehito Shiina cut a hole in his chest and planted a melon seed. The seed did not germinate. Shiina’s experiments with the human body as potential ground for photosynthesis are the premise for ‘The Dawn of the Photosynthesizers,’ a photoseries that seeks to engage the viewer in a series of part-horrifying, part-intriguing images of interactions between the human and the plant kingdom.

Shiina is among 95 artists from around the globe that are showcasing their work in the Capital for the next four weeks as part of the second Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF) that opened on Sunday. Its theme, ‘Earth|Body|Mind’, has allowed for the pairing of art with one of the most pertinent issues faced by humanity at the moment—climate change.

KIAF 2012 is being organised by the Siddhartha Arts Foundation with the aim of exploring the potential of art as a powerful tool for disseminating information and instigating social change.

The inaugural session of the festival, held under the chairmanship of Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Yagya Prasad Gautam, saw a keynote address delivered by eminent academic Prof Abhi Subedi, who hailed the festival as a ‘welcome respite’ from the over saturation of politics in the Nepali mindset.

Kiran Manandhar, chancellor of the National Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), supported Subedi in his assertion, claiming that KIAF was essential to preserving Nepali art and culture. “If we are to develop our country, art and culture must be upgraded. However, the sad fact is that none of the art-related work has been supported by our government,” he told the Post.  

The event, touted as one of the biggest art festivals in South Asia, will see 15 venues across Kathmandu transformed to accommodate the artists’ works. To make the most out of the international gathering, the festival also includes a two-day art symposium beginning on Monday.

Posted on: 2012-11-26 09:29

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