“The mission of the Museum of Nepali Art is to collect, preserve, document, research, and exhibit Nepali art and artistic practices. It aims to educate visitors on Nepali art leading to an understanding, appreciation and the promotion of our artistic heritage.”
The Museum of Nepali Art (MONA) occupies a unique position in the art world because of its focus on Nepali artistic practices and traditions. Nepali art is a reflection of the country’s culture and soul, with an artistic history spanning over two millennia. The museum houses a collection of Nepali art that covers both its religious traditions and more recent secular manifestations. Through regular exhibition, it explores the historic and cultural influences on Nepali art practices to encourage a better understanding, appreciation and promotion of Nepali art and artists.
Situated in the Kathmandu Guest House, Museum of Nepali Art (MONA) aims to make the art works of past and present Nepali master artists easily accessible to everyone. It seeks to expand knowledge, interest and awareness around these artistic practices.
Most great works of Nepali art have been denied a wider audience, being housed in private collections or as a part of limited exhibitions in Nepal and abroad. MONA breaks this barrier, presenting masterpieces to a wider and all-inclusive public.
The museum documents, conserves and preserves the country’s artistic heritage. Periodically changing thematic exhibitions on Nepali art will run throughout the year to keep visitors engaged and encourage them to revisit the museum.
In addition, MONA provides a vibrant continuity, by exhibiting the work of newer generations, whose manifestations differ in form and content. Delving deeper into the artworks, we see a rich interplay of western styles juxta positioned in local cultural context that gives the art a character that is ‘whole Nepali’, and places Nepal on a global platform.
The Kathmandu Valley has been a center of cultural heritage for thousands of years, spanning many dynasties and ‘schools of thought’, to receive its World Heritage Inscription in 1979. To date most great works of Nepali art have been denied a wider audience, being housed in private collections or a part of limited exhibitions. MONA breaks that restrictive barrier, presenting masterpieces, mainly produced after the mid-19th century, to a wider and all-inclusive public.
The museum encompasses documentation, conservation and preservation of the country’s artistic heritage, with the aim to both maintain and expand this identity. Thematic presentations of Nepalese art, both traditional and contemporary and sometimes both will run as temporary exhibitions throughout the year to provide a ‘living’ Museum.
Traditional and contemporary art balance each other. The first, mirroring faiths and traditions, where the foundations of our culture and way of life were embedded. The second, representing today’s philosophies, anxieties and dogmas.
Art is in a rapid whirlpool of evolution, revolution and experimentation. The modern era of digital influences and mass accessibility endangers individual expression, reduces artistic variances and thus makes our society somewhat monotonic.
MONA was envisioned to give a prominent stage to Nepali artists, to showcase their expressions and geniuses. This platform intends to strengthen traditions, better understand our history, and pass this knowledge on to future generations, while introducing our non-comparative artistic forte to the world. Additionally, and more importantly, to exhibit these artistic marvels to the general public, so that such knowledge and skill would not be diminished in this world of chaos and singularity.