Artist Bidhata KC is one of the most pertinent contemporary artists in Nepal. Her work expresses versatility and exceptional creativity, explored through a variety of media as a platform to explore nature and society. Nationally and internationally, she has been prolific in exhibiting her works, attending workshops. She is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Arniko National Youth Art Award 2010. She has done more than 8 solo exhibitions and has participated in various group exhibitions and projects both nationally and internationally. In 2013, she was awarded with ‘Master Tej Bahadur Chitrakar Smriti Puraskar’ for the Best Painting/Artist category and in 2011 her painting bagged ‘Special Mention Award’ in the National Fine Art Exhibition. Additionally, in 2006/7 she got the ‘Asian Artist Fellowship Program’ from the Contemporary Art Museum of Korea.
She was a grantee of ‘Glocalization of Art: Contemporary Art Practice 2010’, from Lasana, ‘Artist in the City- Urbanization & Urban culture 2011’, from Social Science Baha, ‘NAC Travel Grant 2015’, from Nepal Art Council. She was represented by the Nepal Art Council, for the India Art Fair 2016. KC was one of the commissioned artists for the Kathmandu Triennale (2017). She was honored by ‘Artist of the Year 2018’, Women with Vision II, 100 Most Influential Women of Nepal /RSTC and in 2018 ‘. She is one of the recipients of the ‘Australian Himalayan Foundation Art Award 2018’. She was awarded by ‘Bhadrakumari Ghale Fine Art Award 2020’, by Bhadrakumari Ghale Sewa Sadan.
I’ve always believed that much of our socio-political history, culture, traditions and values are preserved and portrayed in various forms of art. I believe that artistic expressions give spaces to capture historic moments in time, capture socio-cultural realities and most importantly, provides the freedom of expression to socio-political issues. Contemporary artists do bear such responsibility and that realization is evident in most of my work. Often my observations show where we’ve progressed, transitioned and moved as a society: how we constantly have battles finding our identities that is stuck in-between spaces of new and old, what bridges the rural-urban gap in Nepal and how in the name of development we have destroyed our environment slowly killing the links between us and nature. I am always on a quest to find hidden meanings in things that surround me and try to portrait such observations and realizations through my creations.
Out of Emptiness
The artist was inspired by how the people in Manang and Manaslu region used empty tin cans to create prayer wheels. This creative spark led her to create this interactive installation which attempts to depict how objects that have been discarded can be reused for a larger purpose. The installation also traces the journey of these cans from garbage bins to a place where pilgrims come for spiritual awakening.
In Nepal Bhasha, the word ‘Nilah’ literally means ‘water used as an offering to deities during rituals’. Using that term as a starting point, the artist designed this installation to convey the perspectives of women from a community in Patan and their connection to water that flows out of ancient stone taps called ‘hiti’. The artist had led a workshop titled Sacred Water with eleven women and she was inspired by the conversations. During the workshop, participants were introduced to visual mediums and encouraged to express their connections with their hitis. Women’s stories, expressed through paintings and other visual mediums, revealed that even though the water from the hitis has become dirtier, people still associate it with the idea of pureness – so pure that only hiti water can be used during religious rituals as well as consumed. The installation also informs women’s spiritual connections, particularly to their community, a connection they deemed higher than with anyone else.