Artist Residency: Gatlang Series – Srijanalaya

Artist Residency: Gatlang Series

Date: 06th March 2016

Time: 07:00 AM

Location: Gatlang, Rasuwa, Nepal

Age Group: NA

Participants: 2

Project Details

    The project, “Working with Earthquake-Affected Weavers in Rasuwa — Exploring Tamang Livelihood and Education Opportunities” was conceptualized as a way to find how the indigenous weaving skills and stories can lead to a source of livelihood for the people in Gatlang, an earthquake ravaged village in Northern Rasuwa.

    The project started out as a one month residence, during which two women from Gatlang, Mendo Tamang and Tar Jhyalmo Ghale Tamang, shared their expertise in weaving, embroidery, dyeing, sewing, and indigenous knowledge about agriculture and geography with two artists, Sunita Maharjan and Sanjeep Maharjan, and a designer, Kirti Man Shakya.

    During the one month between  6 Mar- 6 Apr, the team worked together to research, experiment with and create samples of textiles, raw materials, illustrations, preliminary designs of products, and artistic forms inspired by Gatlang.  The team became acquainted with each other’s skills, interests, and creative process.  They began to experiment with traditional weaves and textiles to create an array of products and product ideas.

    After returning to Kathmandu, the two artists and designer continued to explore designs for bags.  They have created a series of contemporary designs for bags that incorporated the weaving skills of the artisans and raw materials from Gatlang.  It is that process that led to the Gatlang Series.

    The Gatlang Series consists of 10 bags that highlight the handwoven indigenous textiles of Rasuwa. This series is a tribute to the indigenous Tamang lifestyle of herding, shearing, weaving, and farming.  The rich, natural tones, durability and water resistance of the textiles is combined with the distinct aesthetics of each of the three designers.

    Each bag in the Gatlang Series is an effort to create viable and sustainable livelihoods of the Tamang community in Gatlang, Rasuwa. We look to create an industry that appreciates indigenous Tamang skills, quality of their textile, and the history of their people.  Promoting these products in national and international markets is about bringing awareness of these communities’ struggles to a larger audience and demonstrating the integrity and dignity of their labor.

    The Gatlang Series has been made possible through South Asia Institute Nepal Help Initiative’s support of the project “Working with Earthquake-Affected Weavers in Rasuwa — Exploring Tamang Livelihood and Education Opportunities” from February 2016 to present.