Art Impact Nepal is coming to Singapore in August. (https://www.facebook.com/artimpactnepal/)
This event was launched in Kathmandu in April, and has been to Providence, Boston, San Diego and Rosarito so far.
I've learn a lot engaging with artists and meeting the visitors to the event. this event was the idea of various artists from Nepal and I'm learning something new all the time. There were a lot of unintended consequences.
Art Impact Nepal is not an art show. It is not about art appreciation and not about art education. The artists are Nepal fine Artists who are award winning artists, and they are there to display their art and share their experience during the earthquake. They will also talk about the progress of the recovery and how they are leveraging on art for disaster recovery.
One of the artist -- Ajit Sah is already training survivors in the earthquake to make handicrafts and the handicrafts are already sold in Kathmandu to allow the survivors of the earthquake to earn more money for rebuilding of their homes.
One of the goals of Art Impact Nepal is to raise funds to build a residential art studio in Lumbini, training and allowing more survivors to make handicrafts and sell handicrafts for a living. Foreign artists can visit the residential studios to work with the artisans, learning local art, as well as sharing their crafts with each other.
After running this art exhibition for some time, I've already learn so many new things.
1) Art Therapy.
One of the artists in Nepal experienced a lot of loss, and almost quit art. But when he saw the artists coming together for this project, he started painting again with mixed media. He realized that his post disaster art is much darker than his original art. Now, he is using all dark colors, showing broken temples and bells.
He realized that he could express what he could not vocalize with art, and it was good for his mental health to release his feelings bottled inside him.
As such, art is also used to understand the mental health of the survivors, and used as a therapy, a channel for some of the troubled survivors to express themselves.
2) Caste System.
I learn a lot more about the caste system, and how different castes will not come and support because of the type of art on display (lower caste)
In Nepal, I ran the exhibition and managed to get the various people to come, however, in the US, evidently, the community was fragmented and it was hard to get support from the Nepal community.
If you are in Singapore, please come by and support and show your solidarity to the artists. If you can please come and buy some handicrafts as well. There are organic soap and other handicrafts made by the villagers using only sustainable locally found materials and vegetable dyes.
I'd like to introduce conscious consumerism and you can support Nepal recovery by shopping in the new Singapore way, instead of donations. We can enable the survivors to support themselves and rebuild their communities by buying the things we need or meaningful gifts.
-- Robin Low