Nepal Art Now

Contemporary Nepalese Art

11 April to 24 November 2019
Weltmuseum Wien presents the most extensive exhibition of modern and contemporary art from Nepal to date. The works on display range from outstanding representatives of the 1950s through to today’s nascent scene of vibrant new artists. As well contributing to an effective resituating of the West’s status within an international context, these works also offer insights into how the local, the national and the global interplay.  

About the exhibition

About the exhibition

Around the time of the controversial exhibition Magiciens de la Terre, held at the Centre Pompidou and the Grande halle de la Villette in Paris in 1989, many major exhibitions and Biennales began reappraising their general exhibition practices, one of the effects of which was to award far greater representation of international, non-European artists. Thus, by emphasizing contemporary Nepalese art in particular, the forthcoming exhibition Nepal Art Now may best be understood as the continuation of this shift in focus. The exhibition conceives itself as bridging the gap between Nepalese artists and European audiences, whereby equal weight is awarded to artworks and the artists’ self-understanding on questions relating to the process of creative production, and the fertile tension between local rootedness and supra-regional interests. The exhibition and the Nepal Art Now publication are the result of a close collaboration with Nepalese artists, curators and the Nepal Art Council. Nepal Art Now has been curated by Dina Bangdel (1963–2017), Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha and Christian Schicklgruber.

Whereas some Nepalese artists attended academies outside of Nepal, others travelled extensively and absorbed many of the new art practices from around various regions of the world. It thus comes as no surprise that certain aspects of contemporary Nepalese art are indebted to international discourses on the field. Though rooted in the culture and traditions of Nepal, the artworks on show portray and treat questions of general concern. Several of the works convey a sense of social responsibility in that they assimilate a high degree of aesthetic sensibility and ethical claims, while the depicted topics range from the 2015 earthquake, to women’s rights and religion. 

Hit Man Gurung, Sunil Sigdel, Sanjeev Maharjan, Ang Tsherin Sherpa and Manish Harijan, along with several among the artists exhibited, refrain from adopting Europe and North America as their points of reference. They tend rather to draw on an international language of art as a means to further develop their respective cultural identities, the ramifications of which are witnessed in the gradual erosion of the Eurocentric perspective in contemporary art. 



Daily (except Monday)
10 am to 6 pm
10 am to 9 pm

Weltmuseum Wien

Neue Hofburg, Heldenplatz
1010 Vienna, Austria

Exhibition Catalogue 2019
Nepal Art Now
€ 35.00€ 19.95

The Master Artists of Janakpur

The Master Artists of Janakpur

Furthermore, a presentation curated by Claire Burkert in the mezzanine of the Weltmuseum Wien features paintings by female artists in the style of the Maithil culture located along the border region with India.

For marriages or festivals the women in the region around Janakpur covered their walls with images of gods, auspicious birds and animals, and then the monsoon rains washed the paintings away.  Nowadays people prefer cement or brick houses and the practice of painting on walls is not carried on. Today, Janakpur is renowned for its own style of colourful painting, a tradition that began in 1989, when a group of women started to transfer their imagery to hand-made paper.

Through the establishment of the JWDC (Janakpur Women’s Development Centre) in 1991, the Maithil women began to sell their paintings for income. Here, despite caste differences, the artists work together, share ideas, and support one another outside the constraints of their own villages. Over time the work has become more narrative and now frequently depicts the daily lives of the women, while each artist has developed her own style.


Participating artists

Participating artists

Lain Singh Bangdel
Lok Chitrakar
Asha Dangol
Chandra Dangol
Pramila Giri
Hit Man Gurung
Koshal Hamal
Manish Harijan
Kabi Raj Lama
Mekh Limbu
Lachhiman Maharjan
Sanjeev Maharjan
Sunita Maharjan
Kiran Manandhar
Manuj Babu Mishra
Sheelasha Rajbhandari
Ashmina Ranjit
Ajit Kumar Sah
Seema Sharma Shah

Shashi Bikram Shah
Uma Shankar Shah
Anil Shahi
Rabindra Shakya
Rajan Shakya
Siddhi Muni Shakya
Surendra Man Shakya
Ang Tsherin Sherpa
Gopal Kalapremi Shrestha
Laxman Shrestha
Samundra Man Singh Shrestha
Udaya Charan Shrestha
Sunil Sigdel
Birendra Pratap Singh
S. C. Suman
Erina Tamrakar
Mukti Singh Thapa
Ragini Upadhyay Grela

Maithil Artists:

Anuraghi Jha
Remani Mandal
Rebti Mandal
Suhagbati Saha
Madhumala Mandal
Manjula  Thakur
Sailo Yadav
Sudhira Karna
Komal Purbe
Rajkumari Mandal
Nirmala Ram
Renu Yadav
Pano Das
Indrakala Nidhi


More about Nepal

Preserving a Legacy

Photo exhibition by the Dirghaman and Ganeshman Chitrakar Art Foundation & the University of Applied Arts Vienna

The exhibition Preserving a Legacy tells two stories: first, the story of the legacy of four generations of the Chitrakar family as artists and documentarians and second, the story of preserving the cultural legacy in Nepal through a decade long conservation work and scientific research carried out by the Institute of Conservation, University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Duration: 22. March 2019 - 12. April 2019
Place: Universitätsgalerie Heiligenkreuzer Hof, Grashofgasse 3 or Schönlaterngasse 5, Sala terrena, 1010 Vienna
For more information about the exhibition click here.

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