Kathmandu Triennale (KT) is Nepal’s premier international platform for global contemporary arts and is the latest iteration of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF), which nurtured several historical outcomes for Nepali arts and the city of Kathmandu. Like the precursory Festivals in 2009 and 2012, the Triennale is thematically engaged with particular social issues and seeks to advance a nuanced approach that encapsulates the pedagogical potential of visual arts. Kathmandu Triennale’s inaugural edition will be dedicated to the theme of The City. Philippe Van Cauteren, Artistic Director of Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele, in Ghent, Belgium (S.M.A.K) will be curating the overall artistic vision of the event. The Triennale consists of two segments- Exhibitions and Encounters.
Eminent international artists exhibiting at the Triennale include Alice Fox (UK), Bart Lodewijks (Netherlands), Belu Simion Fainaru (Israel), Carole Vanderlinden (Belgium), Francis Alÿs (Mexico), Heide Hinrichs (Germany), Honoré d’O (Belgium), Javier Tellez (Venezuela), Kader Attia(France), Lee Kit (Hong Kong), Mahbubur Rahman (Bangladesh), Majd Abdel Hamid (Palestine), Tayeba Begum Lipi (Bangladesh), Roman Ondak (Slovakia), Masae Suzuki (Japan), Massimo Bartolini (Italy), Nedko Solakov (Bulgaria), Oscar Murillo (Colombia), amongst others. The Triennale will also showcase works by Nepali artists like Amrit Karki, Ashmina Ranjit, Bhuwan Thapa, Bikash Shrestha, Jupiter Pradhan, Kiran Maharjan, Laxman Bazra Lama, Manish Lal Shrestha, Prithvi Shrestha, Saurganga Darshandhari, Sujan Chitrakar, Sujan Dangol, to name a few.
KT 2017 Exhibitions will see the participation of over 50 artists from more than 25 countries. The City: My Studio / The City: My Life includes over 48 artists creating new works, with a considerable percentage representing Nepal. International selections have been made on artists’ capacity to develop their work in Kathmandu within a limited time frame prior to the exhibition, and also on their commitment to engage in capacity building for Nepal’s art scene. An important element in the selection of the artists is that they have the capacity to “transform almost nothing” into a valid artistic proposition. The selected artists have the capacity to create and realise with almost nothing poetical (sometimes political) propositions that embrace their identity and the place they work in. Nepali selections were made through a semi-open call held in June, 2016. 60 Portfolios were presented by respective artists to the curator Van Cauteren in Kathmandu. Many other artists will be represented through the Curated Showcases and through certain perspectives (Historical and Children-Specific) of The City: My Studio / The City: My Life. Exhibitions will be held between 24 March and 9 April, 2017, at multiple venues across the Kathmandu Valley. Central exhibition The City: My Studio / The City: My Life is directed by curator Philippe Van Cauteren. A Historical Perspective on the edition theme will survey Nepali art history and Children-Specific considerations/interventions are being prioritised to make the central exhibition accessible to younger viewers. Additional curated showcases will be held alongside the central exhibition to present multiple world-perspectives on the theme of The City which are being organised by institutional partners and curators independently with support from KT 2017 as a local partner.
Encounters comprise of all educational programming intended to realise long-term impact nationally. The foremost vision of this component is to establish direct ‘encounters’ with artists and art events that can also embrace a wider community participation and exhibition visitations. Integral to this component will be the inclusion of non-exhibiting Nepali artists as ‘Hosts’ of the traveling artists and the mobilisation of art institutions as organisers and co-hosts of artist-led educational outreach. An orientation will also be held through informal presentations—on Nepali art and culture—for traveling artists before the start of the production phase. These direct and daily encounters are hoped to generate informal exchanges. Structured encounters include international artist-lead capacity building; a Symposium during the opening week and in-venue and public outreach programs.