I'm finally in my residency studio at the Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre.
Loads of space and a massive adjacent garden with views onto the nearby pagodas in Durbar Square. I'm still impressed, no matter how many times I've been there.
The garden and the studio are at the back of Patan Museum. Here's a view of the museum's entrance on Durbar Square:
And here's a walk-through video that takes you from a local cafe in the square all the way into my studio:
Yesterday was Navavarsha, the Nepali New Year's Day.
The Nepalese follow their own calendar system, known as the Bikram Era or Bikram Sambat and based on the lunar and solar calendars. The actual day in their calendar is 1st of Baisakh (a month that straddles April and May). Unlike Gregorian months, the lengths of Nepali months are not predetermined, and change from year to year, varying from 29 days to 32 days. (Thanks, Google.)
So off we went to Patan's Durbar Square, to hang around and see what the locals do. Namely: sit around in the sun, drink, carry around some portable shrines and generally be mellow.
Yes! I've been accepted at the Royal College of Art!
The nitty-gritty: it's a sculpture MA, it's two years long and it starts this October. And I'm stupidly pleased.
I've been a fan of this Sculpture Department and this college for quite a while. We even share initials. And now I'm in. All I can possibly say is: yay!
NY-based, Puertorrican artist Pepón Osorio has been recently working in a new project in Kathmandu, invited by the Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre, which is where I'm having my residency.
His projects take him into human communities and literally into people's homes, as a way of accessing their culture and exposing sensitive issues in those communities, be it the Puertorricans in the Bronx or the Newaris in Kathmandu.
In the talk he gave prior to the opening of his show, he confessed to be more interested in the implications of art-making than in the art itself. He often starts his projects without really knowing if the result will be art or something else. The project itself earns its status as art afterwards, independently from Osorio's will.
I particularly liked when he remembered his first years in art, after obtaining his MA from Columbia. He'd go to the big galleries in New York and feel that the art he was supposed to revere didn't speak to him. His answer was to get a studio and work in isolation for five years, without visiting a single show or museum.
One day, a stubborn curator convinced him to have a solo show in a community museum, which led to his participation in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. His work was taken straight from his studio into major collections, without ever being represented by a gallery. Quite an alternative path to the usual art rat race.