Being Nepali

8 Jan - 6 Feb 2016
Gallery 44 401 Richmond St. W

In partnership with Gallery 44

We are pleased to host Kathmandu-based artist, curator and activist NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati as artist-in-residence from November 15 to December 15, which will culminate in a solo exhibition in January 2016. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts and the SALT institute of Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, Kakshapati returned to Nepal in 2006 where she has been intimately photographing ‘The New Nepal’, and the country’s dynamic struggle to find peace. Kakshapati is also a founder of photo.circle and the Nepal Picture Library, a digital photo archive that holds over 50,000 images collected from Nepali individuals and families.

Rooted in a documentary tradition, Kakshapati’s work has focused on representing social and political transformations in Nepal. As Nepal’s newly passed constitution comes into effect, and the country continues to shape a new future, Kakshapati’s work captures new demarcations and identities that emerge in the nation-building process. Using the gallery space as an open site of experimentation and creation, Kakshapati will further develop her ‘Being Nepali’ series through inviting diverse diasporic communities into the space, combining new images with selections from the Nepal Picture Library.

In conversation with artist and educator Surendra Lawoti and renowned Nepali writer Manjushree Thapa, NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati will discuss her upcoming exhibition Being Nepali and the role of documentary photography in both creating and imagining the “New Nepal” at an artist talk on 7 January 2016.

Opening Reception
8 January 2016
6:00 – 8:00pm

Artist Talk
7 January 2016
Urbanspace Gallery (401 Richmond St. W)

NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati is a Nepal-based photographer and curator. She attended Mt Holyoke College, Massachusetts and the SALT Institute of Documentary Studies, Portland, Maine to study documentary photography. Her work seeks to embrace themes such as change, identity, gender, and history within the context of ‘the New Nepal’. She enjoys working across platforms to connect visuals, sound, research, education, activism; using storytelling as an underlying approach. In 2007 NayanTara co-founded photo.circle, a photography collective that has created a vibrant platform for emerging and professional photographers in Nepal. In 2010 photo.circle established the Nepal Picture Library, a digital photo archive containing over 55,000 images that contributes to the study of Nepali photography, and raises questions about memory, identity, and the history of the region through images. NayanTara’s work has been exhibited internationally, including Photo Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2015), OBSCURA Festival of Photography, Malaysia (2013), Delhi Photo Festival, India (2013), International Human Rights Film Festival, Switzerland (2013), and Kirkkopuisto Photo Annual, Finland (2013). The residency and exhibition presented by Gallery 44 and SAVAC will be her first in Canada.

On the Wall: What’s in the galleries this week”, Toronto Star

Canadian Art “Must Sees” This Week: January 7 to 13, 2016

“What does it mean to be Nepalese? Photographer searches for answers”, Globe and Mail. January 22, 2016. 

“What It Means To Be Nepali”, Badri Murali. Torontoist. February 1, 2016 

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