Title: Project 1336: Life in the Lane | Medium: wool, thread, cotton | Size: 1336 meters
“Project 1336” is the community based art project. It is an art idea to work together with the diverse community of the Kathmandu city especially women and the youths. Dense community of the valley lives in the lane with big hopes and dreams. This project is the story of people living in the lanes. Life is never straight, it is like the lane of the Kathmandu valley. I see women gathering in small courtyard knitting along with their neighbors interacting and sharing their good and bad stories of their life and values. They knit with the stories, knitting becomes the story of seconds. Knitting is like making things happen, intricate connection between threads and journey of life which is yet struggling, hopeful and chaotic like lanes. Ongoing process of the installation itself is work of art which interlink with doers and viewers as the part of community activity.
The work is spontaneous, performative, interactive, playful and entangled like the city of Kathmandu valley. This project is again to connect Kathmandu city with sea level, an elevation height of 1336 meters. On such a height people are still living with glory though there’s so many issues, turmoil and agony. After the earthquake of 2015 the situation of valley looks stranger and people are still trying to build their hopes. They struggle to live with nostalgic memories, with sorrow and happiness like light and shade in the lane of the valley. In such way my work lies with beautiful norms of entangled connection. During the show even children and youths are jumping around the work, playing with it. That is just an example of the people living on the city with such a glory.
Again the city doesn’t exist within an hour. There are so many effort to put on. There are so many involvement of all kinds of people. On the exhibition, I installation all the laborious activities to build and create the notions of hopes showing many involvement in making. That’s again is the process based art. My concern is to bring awareness on the native opportunities to labor class people and youths who flee away to other nations in hopes to have better future. As such we can create own new opportunities with creative energy that can sustain our lives and find emotional justice.
Art however should touch lives. On 9th April 2017 there was a public procession of Project 1336: life in the lane from Nepal art council to Maitighar Mandala. For me maitighar Mandala is the space created by the artists and now it is used to create an agitation and established as the political stage. Now it is time to create the space that is friendly to all the human race. Since Kathmandu city is not a human friendly city, this is not the city for children so to bring awareness this lyrical vibrant line would bring some playfulness, hopes, and dreams to our future generation. Softness of the work has friendly behavior thus the exhibits is creating interactive space for child and youths. This public procession is performative happening to encourage the people. This is the tribute to arts and cultures of Kathmandu valley devastated by the earthquake of 2015.
Manish Lal Shrestha, Visual artist