Artists are mirrors of a space and time. Through their work they are reflective of trending philosophical social, political and cultural ideas. When it comes to seeing a city and its history, one of the best means is access and examine a city would be through the artistic eyes. The artworks that represent the city thus function as artifacts for the visual archives and artists are therefore agents of cultural production of a city.
As such, for Kathmandu ‘Mega’ city/ Valley, what art produced through history captures the changing landscape from three minor metropolises to a transitioning large cityscape. Within these works, there is an inclination to also encompass cultural tradition, architecture, public spaces, people in the everyday, as well as to contain indirect connotations of the socio-political and economics of the city ( and/or nation as a whole). The artist is a flaneur, who observes the happenings of his/her surrounding, making the city his/her muse.
When one is to briefly survey the collective artworks based on Kathmandu valley, one thing is immediately observable – the art has a common opulent fascination for architecture, cultural and religious spaces. To understand the underlying intent and trend, a more analytical research needs to be conducted to addresses the city, the artists and the motivating socio-culture and politics between various time periods that influenced these art works.
The research will aim to create an in depth study into the specific movements and forms of art made between the 1920’s-2000’s to represent Kathmandu Valley/ ‘mega ‘ city. It will address what form of cultural production of the city appeared in which time period, and why, thus analyzing the identity established for the city in the 20th century – to identify ‘movement’ of artists or artistic ideas and their integrated Nepali elucidations. This research will also act as an archival tool to the documentation of the changing cityscape.