Para Site presents ‘Garden of Six Seasons’ from May 16 to August 30 2020, a group show exploring the traditions of image-and object-making through the communities long relegated to the sidelines of modern and contemporary cultural production. Para Site is a Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia.
The exhibition is curated by Cosmin Costinas, Executive Director of Para Site and Artistic Director of the upcoming Kathmandu Triennale KT 2077. Identity, cultural hegemonies and the politics of material examined through the work of 40 international artists, serve as the starting point for the thematic moorings of the Kathmandu Triennale 2077, set to take place from 4 December 2020 – 9 January 2021.
The exhibition explores vocabularies of cultural expression that articulate myriad ways of reading the world, from the cosmic to the bodily level. This exhibition is also crucially interested in indigenous knowledge that is active and subversive, working towards the upending of patriarchal structures and dominant national frameworks, creating new global solidarity of places and communities of resistance.
Talking about the curatorial process of the exhibition, Cosmin Costinas says, “This exhibition was conceived with the help of our artist colleagues in Kathmandu, as a precursor to the Kathmandu Triennale, which we symbolically removed from the ill-fated Gregorian calendar year of 2020 and restored in the ancestral indigenous Nepali system of counting the time. In the exhibition, we wanted to talk about the world as it stood until this recent season, with its struggles, visions, and passions. A world that was, perhaps for the first time, beginning to truly admit that it is seen, dreamt and described from hundreds of different angles, each inhabited by communities with histories, rules, idiosyncrasies, and visual languages and almost all of them lumped together as indigenous cultures.”
The title of the show borrows from an English-style garden built by the Nepalese King a hundred years ago in Kathmandu. Gardens represent one of the more complex subjects of cultural investigation. The title also evokes the six seasons traditionally observed in the Kathmandu Valley, which were sources of abundance, wealth and political power for the rulers of Nepal, until climate change rendered the distinction between seasons obsolete.