The Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF) is the biggest international art festival to be held in Kathmandu. KIAF is a non-profit, non commercial festival and is held across different venues in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
The first KIAF was held from October 30, 2009 to November 10, 2009 at 6 different venues. Namely they were Nepal Art Council, Patan Museum, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Imago Dei Gallery, Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center and Nepal Academy of Fine Arts.
The Festival venues are spread througout the city: Patan Museum, Nepal Art Council, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Center, Nepal Academy of Fine Arts, Park Gallery, Summit Hotel, Image Ark Gallery, Nepal Investment Bank, British Council Atrium, and public spaces (such as Boudhanath Stupa). The exact locations and venues will be consolidated and updated on the ‘Visit Us’, under ‘Venues’ and people will be able to identify which artworks and performances will be taking place where! Please keep checking the website as we get closer to the date!
Our mission is to firmly place Nepal on the global map as a venue for contemporary arts and to allow for artistic collaboration and exchange among international and local artists, while presenting global contemporary art trends to Nepali artists and the public.
The organizer of the 2nd KIAF, ‘Earth| Body| Mind’ is the Siddhartha Arts Foundation, established on 31 October, 2011. The first KIAF was organized by the Siddhartha Art Gallery, one of the leading art contemporary art galleries of Nepal that has hosted over 300 international and local art exhibitions till date.The Foundation has taken over the organization of the Festival, continuing it as a nonprofit venture that is to take place every three years.
KIAF is held once in every three years, under different themes that are socially relevant and important.The first KIAF was titled ‘Separating Myth from Reality – Status of Women’ and focused on creating awareness on discrimination against women. The second KIAF is titled ‘Earth│Body│Mind’ and will revolve around climate change, a critical 21st century issue. Artists look into the root causes to climate change by looking into human relationships with nature.
The 2nd KIAF received 162 international submissions and 60 Nepali submissions. Nepali artists submitted concepts for new artworks, while international submission could be previous works. This was to maintain works that the Nepali public has not seen. We put together a prestigious committee that reviewed and selected the works: Dina Bangdel, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jagath Weerasinghe, Artist, Art writer, Professor, Postgraduate Institute of Archeology, Colombo Sri Lanka; Joyce Toh, Senior Curator, Singapore Art Museum; Navin Khadka, BBC News Correspondent, Specializes on Climate Change; Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Salima Hashimi, Curator, Contemporary Artist, Dean of the School of Visual Arts, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan.The selection was based on artwork aesthetics, research, environmental sustainable installation process, critical thinking and the overall impact of the work. Additional curators and international artists were invited as necessary. It was essential for us to maintain a clear and transparent system especially for our Nepali artists in order to ensure that we are supporting the growth of our artists on to an international platform. You are welcome to contact us with any queries.
To get the word out to international artists we used ITS LIQUID, Resart Finland, German Cultural Magazine, Rossi and Rossi, the Bronx Museum, and writing to networks from the Kennedy Center for Perfoming Arts and the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture, Melbourne where Sangeeta Thapa, the Director had attended. Some artists we researched personally and contacted e.g. Priscila de Carvalho, Vik Muniz, and Maureen Bisiliat, some we contacted through curators such as Kuroda Raiji of the Fukuoka Museum of Asian Art, Elizabeth Grady of the Bronx Museum, and Menika Van der Poorten of Sri Lanka. It is important to note that we were looking into both individual artists and curators so some of the works in the Festival are curated and some are from independent submissions. We believe in being a part of the variety and open-ness of the field of the arts. We also have had to take into consideration the new-ness of the contemporary arts in Nepal on an international platform. We hope to expand our networks and find even more fine tuned ways to get the word out for the next Festival!
Besides contacting local and international press (print/digital) from around the world, particularly from participating countries, KIAF is synchronizing different channels of communication to bolster its efforts of raising interest in the festival and awareness of the issue covered by this year’s theme. We are utilizing our vast network of artists, curators and supporting institutions to secure coverage on the festival and involved artists. Furthermore, building on the ease and accessibility of social networking sites, KIAF is uploading new content on its pages and blog regularly as a lead up to the month of November.
Help us connect with resourceful individuals and organizations. Regardless of their capacity, KIAF is interested in expanding its reach and laying the foundation for future collaborations. Join us on Facebook (facebook.com/kathmanduinternationalartdestivalkiaf), share our page or visit our blog. And if you wish to contribute to the festival in any way email us. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artworks will not be sold at KIAF.
No, KIAF does not award participants, but bears all costs of transporting the artwork to Kathmandu and back.