What's On This Month
Paintings by Joy Lynn Davis
Joy Lynn Davis is an artist from California. She has been an artist in residence at Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre (2012-13) and the Santa Fe Art Institute (2008, 2009). She received her BA in Art from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2002, where she focused on painting and digital art. In addition, she has studied the Tibetan and Nepali languages, Himalayan art history and religions, as well as traditional thangka painting. Her acrylic and gold leaf paintings often combine realism with traditional Nepali and Tibetan motifs and styles. Her paintings are the culmination of travels, interviews, photography, and art surveys conducted in Asia since 2003. Joy Lynn Davis is also the founder and president of the Himalayan Art and Cultural Heritage Project, a U.S. based non-profit) working to protect the artistic and cultural heritage of Nepal and the greater Himalayan region by promoting public awareness and education, encouraging scholarship, supporting preservation efforts and the continuation of artistic practices, discouraging illicit-traffic, and facilitating voluntary returns of cultural artifacts.
For more information about Joy, her artist’s statement, and images of her public art and previous work, visit www.joylynndavis.com
Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu
Since the 1960s, thousands of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures have disappeared from Nepal’s public temples, shrines, courtyards, fountains, and fields. Prior to the thefts, nearly all of these sculptures were actively worshiped as living deities and their absence is deeply felt in their local communities.
In this project, paintings, interviews, and photographic documentation weave together narratives of these sacred spaces, exploring how people respond when religious art objects—that exist, not as commodities, but as vital living community participants—are physically removed.
Davis’ large-scale paintings bridge the present and past states of these sacred spaces by realistically depicting the sites as they look presently and then visually “repatriating” the stolen sculptures back into those sites with 23 karat gold. The use of gold provides a visual language revealing which sculptures have been stolen and references the commodification of the sacred through its associations with both wealth and divinity. Didactic panels accompany each painting, featuring historical images of the stolen sculptures, current photographs of the sites, information about the sculptures and any replicas, and excerpts of interviews with local elders, devotees, temple caretakers, and children. A website (rememberingthelost.com) accompanies the project, allowing viewers see a map of the sacred sites, and to search and sort a database of information and photographs of all known thefts.