Offer, offer whoever has whatever What else is there than enriching a culture? Without offering our courage as sacrifice How else will we be famous? From Chitta Shanti by Dharani Dhar Koirala - 1956
Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu October 4 - 24, 2002 Rani Pokhari, Kathmandu October 26 – 30, 2002 Pharping November 2 - 9, 2002
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 environmental remediation.
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 periodOctober 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.
The installation at Rani Pokhari culminated in the establishment of a permanent Remembering Peace Park 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.
In the final phase, November 2 - 9, of 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.
Using the 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.
Laxmi Devi Acharya
Jane Brucker & family
Dhruba & Indira Duwadi
Akash Matilsky Duwadi
Kiran & Sheila Duwadi
Ken & Andrew Gaertner
Daniel & Susan Gaertner
Danny & Angela Greene
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Harper
Pat & Jack Harris
Monty & Marilyn Hempel
Lotus Gallery, Kathmandu
Terry & Ruth Matilsky
Sara & April Matilsky
Jake & Matt Matilsky
Gertrude & Jack Mayo
Michael & Tog Newman
Durga N. & Pratima Rimal
Judy & Hy Rutman
Michelle & Molly Rutman
Dr. Ira J. Wiggins
Sherlene & David Winstead
Tony& Barbara Witt
Peace Land’s Travel & Tours Inc., USA
James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill