Lahti Art Museum in Finland hosted an exhibition curated by Gary Wornell of the fine crafts of Nepal. The exhibition featured photographs, video documentaries and craft objects of religious and secular objects collected over an 18 month period from the Kathmandu valley.
Copper Casting, Gilding, Metal Carving, Wood Carving, Stone Carving, Textile and Carpet making, Thangka painting, Paper making and decorating, Drum making, incense and prayer flag making are just some of the handicrafts that will be featured in the show.
Visitors to Nepal have seen many of these works in the abundant monasteries and temples throughout the country, but few have seen these works in the making. This exhibition showed the Nepalese people at work and their art in a way that hasn't been seen before. In the developed world we have turned to technologies that remove the need for hand skills, and so we have lost the feeling that these hand processes create. Treasure of Nepal celebrated the work of these craftspeople and brought a unique view of the cultural heritage that is Nepal in 2016-17.
Change and development
Social, economic and environmental changes in Nepal are taking place at a rapid pace. Education is providing opportunities to more and more young people in Nepal. Illiteracy is becoming a thing of the past. The Internet exposes children to a world that their parents were unaware of when they began their vocations. The life choices of the young are expanding and many are migrating to developed countries to pursue careers that are not possible at the moment in Nepal.
The children of uneducated craftspeople see the world very differently to their parents and they face difficult community choices in leaving the family tradition behind. In the next two decades skilled workers in their prime will get old and retire and there will be fewer and fewer people to replace them. Tradition runs very deep in this nation; customs and values will not change overnight, but the small workshops that are scattered around the Kathmandu valley will inevitably face challenges as new technologies replace the work of their hands.
LAHTI Art Museum
September 23, 2016 to
January 28, 2017
Vesijärvenkatu 11 A
Tuesday - Friday 9.00 - 17.00
Wednesday 10.30 - 19.00
Saturday, Sunday 11.00 - 16.00