Mountains & Migration – Lain Singh Bandgel

Mountains & Migration

A twentieth-century polymath, Lain Singh Bangdel (1919-2002) became Nepal’s preeminent modern artist, as well as an acclaimed novelist, art historian, preservationist, and academic who played a pivotal role in shaping the history of art in South Asia. Mountains and Migration tells the story of Bangdel’s remarkable global journey, chronicling his artistic career in India and Europe, as well as his eventual return to his ancestral homeland of Nepal. In doing so, this exhibition highlights how the artist created a new and pioneering visual language, resulting in works of art that would define a modern Nepal.

Born on a tea farm in Darjeeling, India, into a community of Nepali migrant workers, Bangdel was culturally connected to Nepal until moving there in 1961. This exhibition explores how Bangdel’s abstract painting emerged from a variety of sources, including the vernacular architecture of South Asian cities like Kolkata and Kathmandu, as well as the exalted peaks of the Himalayas. This mountain barrier, which once separated Bangdel from Nepal, became the subject that most connected him to his homeland and nourished his artistic sensibility. During Nepal’s mid-century emergence from self-imposed isolation, and significant political transition, Bangdel’s work paints the nation as a hopeful, international, and modern country.

This exhibition is organised by Owen Duffy, Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas, with the support of Bibhakar Shakya, Founder & Chairman of the Bangdel-Shakya Foundation.

All works in the collection of the Bangdel-Shakya Estate unless otherwise noted.

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