For the first time, Nepal will be featured in the Venice Biennale – thanks to the pavillion of artist Tsherin Sherpa.
The exhibition will be by artist Tsherin Sherpa, titled “Tales of Muted Spirits – Dispersed Threads – Twisted Shangri-La.” Artists Hit Man Gurung and Sheelasha Rajbhandari will be the curator of the exhibition. The exhibition is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal. The Nepal Academy of Fine Arts and the Siddhartha Foundation is also sponsoring the exhibition, while the Rubin Museum of Art (New York) will provide additional support.
For years, Nepal has been either known for the Himalayas or the Buddhist monasteries. The exhibition by Tsherin Sherpa aims to challenge these stereotypes and show that Nepal has much more to offer. Sherpa has taken materials for Asian countries across the highlands of the region to highlight the incorrectness of these misconceptions. He also aims to show that instead of a remote hinterland, Nepali culture has flowed across the entire sub-region (that includes China, Mongolia, India and Bangladesh).
Talking about the theme, Tsherin Sherpa said: “International understanding of Nepali art remains plagued by a Western conceptualization of the Himalayan region: a pervasive, romanticized vision that frames Nepal as static, pure and untouched by time and modernity. We need to create a space to reflect and re-evaluate these biases.” Rajbhandari, who is the curator, added: “In contradiction to a mythical utopia—shrouded in happiness, longevity, and bliss—is the reality of an intricately interconnected peoples who have repeatedly experienced displacement, loss, and the insurmountable task of reconstituting their lives.”
Tsherin Sherpa was born in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, in 1968. His family were refugees from Tibet. He has been a co-curator of Kathmandu Triennale 2077 and cofounder of ArtTree Nepal. Sherpa has been featured in Sydney Biennale (2020) and Yokohoma Triennale (2020).