When a young Wolfgang Korn landed in the Tribhuwan International airport on a cold January morning in 1968, the lush green field and dense wood and brick urban centers of the valley enchanted him. The old towns of the valley looked like they had hardly changed since medieval times. He found footprints of the past everywhere he looked and a culture that was completely new to him.
Curious and inquisitive, Wolfgang diligently and meticulously documented everything he came across. These meticulous records would eventually inform the reconstruction of historical monuments such as the Kasthamandap and the Char Narayan Temple that were destroyed during the 2015 earthquake.
Wolfgang is also a gifted artist and photographer. This exhibition draws deeply from his multi-faceted personality and presents his artistic calling. The Museum of Nepali Art (MoNA) takes great pride in highlighting this hidden side of Wolfgang Korn’s life.
It also gives us great pleasure to announce that proceeds from the sale of works displayed in this exhibition will support the production of a book on Wolfgang Korn’s life and times in Nepal. It will be published by Safu, an imprint of Quixote’s Cove, in the coming year.
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.