ArTree Nepal

Not less expensive than gold

By Biennale of Sydney

#NIRIN2020

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

About the artists

Lavkant Chaudhary
Born 1988 in Sarlahi, Nepal
Lives and work in Kathmandu, Nepal

Hit Man Gurung
Born 1986 in Lamjung, Nepal
Lives and work in Kathmandu, Nepal

Mekh Limbu
Born 1985 in Dhankuta, Nepal
Lives and work in Kathmandu, Nepal

Sheelasha Rajbhandari
Born 1988 in Kathmandu, Nepal
Lives and work in Kathmandu, Nepal

Subas Tamang
Born 1990 in Amardaha, Nepal
Lives and work in Kathmandu, Nepal

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Not less expensive than gold

“The herbs found in Nepal at an altitude of 3000 metres and above are considered rich in natural chemicals. Ironically, those medicinal plants, which people have been using for hundreds, if not thousands, of years have now become export goods, while 80-90 per cent of the drugs used by locals are imported."

"Increasingly, in most of the developing countries, basic needs like health, education and transportation are being systematically privatised and commercialised. Health services and medical education are unaccountably expensive. Only five percent of the population in Nepal can afford to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine or Surgery. In most rural areas, because of a lack of proper infrastructure, people have to travel long distances to the capital for even basic treatment.”

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Not less expensive than gold approaches multiple concerns that are urgent for this collective. Their actions and objects express the frustration of erasure and disintegration of Indigenous, ethnic, communal and shamanistic medicinal and healing practices in Nepal. 

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

These natural processes continue to be both denigrated as ‘alternative medicine’ or ‘pseudoscience’, while also commercially exploited as exports. 

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

The work also presents video works documenting performative and peaceful actions of resistance towards the commercialised medical industry. These video’s document solidarity with Dr. Govinda KC, a surgeon and activist who has undertaken hunger strikes in order for a better health system and non-privatised medical education in Nepal. The bodies of performers bare the words of his manifesto.

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

ArTree Nepal practices contemporary art with the belief that art has deep roots in social practice. The mainstream narrative of Nepal and its surrounding region have excluded the stories and experiences of numerous marginalised, underprivileged and Indigenous communities. 

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Although there have been, and continue to be, major political changes and demands for an equal representation of diverse identities, cultures, languages and religions, these have been consistently and strategically oppressed. 

Not less expensive than gold Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

By consciously using political and pre-colonial vocabularies, ArTree's collective and individual practices draw attention to these problematic social hierarchies and invasive international influences.

Navigate around and exhibition space and explore ArTree Nepal's installation or take the NIRIN Virtual Tour to discover more works at Cockatoo Island.

Credits: Story

Not less expensive than gold, 2020 
mixed-media installation 
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Open Society Foundations 
Courtesy the artists 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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