Shanti ko Samjhana - Remembering Peace
A Public Art Installation Dedicated to
Peace and the Environment
Kathmandu and Pharping, Nepal
offer whoever has whatever
Siddhartha Art Gallery,
|Shanti ko Samjhana -
Remembering Peace, a public art installation, presented new
opportunities for expressing personal as well as collective
aspirations for peace and healing during this time of turmoil in
Nepal and around the world. This artwork visualized
the recent tragedies in Nepal while serving as a catalyst for
Shanti ko Samjhana was first introduced through an exhibition of drawings, prints, banners and text at the Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu October 4 - 24. This show presented the idea for creating a temporary outdoor installation at Rani Pokhari and two permanent environmental artworks - Remembering Peace Park in Kathmandu and Remembering Peace Grove at Pharping.
A distinct aspect of Nepali identity is that art still plays an important role in daily life. Shanti ko Samjhana recognized and celebrated Nepali culture in the midst of adversity. The outdoor installation was created around the Rani Pokhari, a historic pond constructed by King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu (ruling from1641-1674) in sympathy with his beloved wife's grief over their son's death. Reflecting this ancient story, Shanti ko Samjhana was sited at this pokhari to contemplate the recent anguish of our community and the desire for renewal.
During the installation period October 26 – 30, three large copper deyos (oil lamps) were kept lit in memory of the deceased, in solidarity with the living victims, and for a future that is free of violence and injustice. For four days, 3000 clay oil lamps were illuminated around the pokhari at dusk to celebrate the inspirational qualities of the natural and cultural landscapes of Nepal. The public was invited to personally participate by lighting oil lamp dedicated to nonviolence.
installation at Rani Pokhari culminated in the establishment of a
on the south side of Rani Pokhari. Kathmandu Metropolitan City
provided the land, cleared the site and landscaped the area. In
collaboration with Kumari
Nursery of Paknajol,
Kathmandu, tree saplings and flowering plants
were planted to remember those who have perished and to symbolize
our hopes for peace.
Kathmandu, tree saplings and flowering plants were planted to remember those who have perished and to symbolize our hopes for peace.
In the final phase, November 2 -
Shanti ko Samjhana-Remembering Peace, a peace grove was
established on an important
watershed site in Pharping, ten miles from Kathmandu.
The Seshnarayan Village Community helped design and institute this forest
preserve. Ekaha Pokhari Women's Group, Gobhal
Women's Group and Janajyoti Youth Club of Pharping
participated in creating this grove and have taken responsibility
for nurturing the seedlings. The community-owned land
was cleared, fenced and planted with a variety of herbal, fruit and
flowering tree saplings that will generate income for the community.
participated in creating this grove and have taken responsibility for nurturing the seedlings. The community-owned land was cleared, fenced and planted with a variety of herbal, fruit and flowering tree saplings that will generate income for the community.
tree sapling as a metaphor for rejuvenation,
Shanti ko Samjhana created
the setting where
people could express their desire for peace by transforming the
environment and the quality of their lives.