A conversation on the legacy of two pioneering modern artists from Nepal, Lain Singh Bangdel and Shashi Bikram Shah. Dr. Bibhakar Shakya, Bangdel’s son-in-law, and Priyankar Bahadur Chand, the eldest grandson of Shashi Shah, discussed each artists’ contributions to Nepali art through the lens of research into their personal archives.
Following a brief introduction to these artists and their place in the history of modern and contemporary Nepali art, Owen Duffy, Director of the Yeh Art Gallery of St. John’s University, led a roundtable talk with Chand and Shakya about the intersection of Nepali modern art and archives. They also considered the relationship between Bangdel and the subsequent generation of Nepali modernists, of which Shashi Bikram Shah was a key figure.
Dr. Bibhakar Shakya is a Senior Economist and Principal Consultant in Richmond, Virginia. He came to the US as a Fulbright Scholar and received a Ph.D. in Environmental and Resource Economics from the Ohio State University. He also serves as a Senior Distinguished Fellow at Nepal Economic Forum in Kathmandu, Nepal. Over the last ten years, he has been working closely with Nepali art communities to promote Nepali arts and culture at the international level. He has recently supported Rubin Museum’s Himalayan Art Project and Tsherin Sherpa’s Spirit exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He is involved in social projects in the US and Nepal with a mission of “Giving Back to the Community and Country,” primarily in Art, Literature, and Education.
Priyankar Bahadur Chand is a researcher attempting to traverse the crossroads of public health, history, and anthropology; incorporating archival and field-based methodologies in his works. His ongoing study includes assembling and contextualising the archives of the SKIB-71 art collective, looking at the long history of disease and territory in the Tarai, and exploring the historiography of visual cultures in Nepal and the broader Himalayan region.
Owen Duffy is the Director of the Yeh Art Gallery, St. John’s University. In 2016, he earned his Ph.D. in art historical studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied with Dr. Dina Bangdel, the Himalayan art historian and daughter of Lain Singh Bangdel. He has published on the work of Nepali conceptual and performance artist Ashmina Ranjit, and is the curator of Lain Singh Bangdel: Moon over Kathmandu, currently on view at the Yeh Art Gallery.
Modern Art in Nepal: Archiving Artists Lain Singh Bangdel and Shashi Bikram Shah is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature.