HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Sixty-three-year-old Govinda Ghimire, a visitor was lending his pair of +3-powered spectacles to his friend who was looking for people he knew at the photo exhibition titled ‘Postcards and Beyond’, a photo collection of photographer Mukunda Bahadur Shrestha on August 10 at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babarmahal Revisited.
This and more were the scene on the first day of the exhibition where the elder generation was looking for the persons they knew in the photographs, while the younger generation were astonished by the photographs that have a socio-cultural and historical value.
The Nepal Picture Library (NPL) initiative of photocircle digitalised more than 11,000 slides and negatives from Shrestha’s personal collection and the exhibition is the first public display from NPL’s archiving project.
Eighty-six-year-old Shrestha worked 25 years as a photographer for Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) where his work of three decades and his dedication can be seen in the exhibition. Shrestha’s works have been used by NTB to promote Nepal’s tourism sector all around the world through postcards and posters and the title fits the exhibition to a T. “I am very glad that I got to exhibit my photographs. Through these photographs, one can know the history of the people living in different places of Nepal and see the differences of now and then,” expresses Shrestha.
In the exhibition, the ground floor is filled with colour photographs of various festivals of Kathmandu Valley and landscapes of Mustang. The photograph of numerous people taking bath in the Chovar river during the ritual of Machhendranath bath is interesting. You will not see a single person wearing a pair jeans in the photo.
The first floor is packed with black-and-white photographs of various Himalayan regions of Nepal and people living in those regions, while the second floor displays Shrestha’s personal black-and-white photographs of his friends and families.
Ghimire, who once worked with Shrestha, shares, “While working at NTB, Shrestha was my senior and was my source of inspiration who also shared his photographic knowledge at a time when there were no educational institutions for photography. And it is good to see his work in the form of an exhibition where one can know about the places of Nepal in early 1920’s and photography in Nepal at that time.”
A series of talks and presentations on the importance of archiving and use of archival images are also scheduled through the duration of the exhibition.
The exhibition will continue till August 20.