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The constant camera

By Mukunda Bahadur Shrestha, Nayantara Kakshapati, Nayan P Sindhuliya and Alban von Stockhausen

16 August 2012

The photos and the photographer that helped introduce Nepal to the world.
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Photographs and text by Mukunda Bahadur Shrestha, and Nayantara Kakshapati, Nayan P Sindhuliya and Alban von Stockhausen, respectively

Photographs and text by Mukunda Bahadur Shrestha, and Nayantara Kakshapati, Nayan P Sindhuliya and Alban von Stockhausen, respectively

Mukunda Bahadur Shrestha spent several decades travelling across Nepal, photographing the mountains, and the people that lived among them – images that introduced Nepal to the world.

Working for over 25 years for the Nepal Tourism Board, Shrestha captured images that became synonymous with the promotion of tourism in Nepal. Alongside his official assignments, Shrestha took photographs of his family, friends, and everything he observed around him, developing his unique, intimate style of portraying people and capturing their everyday lives. He experimented extensively with the aesthetic quality of images, trying out different perspectives and techniques of composition as well as formats – always seeking a photograph that captured a personality or the emotional and aesthetic quality of a certain moment in the best possible way.

Over the past 14 months the Nepal Picture Library has digitised more than 11,000 slides and negatives from Shrestha’s personal collection. The Nepal Picture Library is an archiving project that strives to contribute to the study of Nepali photography, as well as generate knowledge and raise questions about how issues of memory, identity, and history can be explored through images.

Postcards and Beyond, an exhibition of Shrestha’s work, is being held at the Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babar Mahal Revisited, Kathmandu through 20 August, 2012.

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