BloomingtonKatmandu: From Cornfields To Ricefields

The TMBCC's connection to a religion and government in exile makes it the ideal site for artworks exploring the concept that home is a portable feeling.

  • Nakagawa- Artwork

    Image 1 of 4

    Photo: Osamu James Nakagawa

    "Castles", a photographic composite by Japanese native and IU Hope School of Fine Arts Associate Professor Osamu James Nakagawa, will be exhibited as part of BloomingtonKatmandu.

  • BEACH HOUSE, 2006, edit

    Image 2 of 4

    Photo: Svetlana Rakic

    Svetlana Rakic, (Beach House), 2006

  • b_bienen_schlaf_02, edit2

    Image 3 of 4

    Photo: Barbel Rothhaar

    For her piece "Sleeping in a Beehive", German artist Barbel Rothhaar cast her head in beeswax and placed it in an active beehive.

  • PalovaArtworkImage, detail

    Image 4 of 4

    Photo: Mariana Palova

    A detail from an image by Mariana Palova, on view at BloomingtonKatmandu.

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat

Event Information

BloomingtonKatmandu

An international art exhibition exploring the concept of home in the 21st century.


Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington

Saturday, May 28, 2011, from 5-8 pm, and May 29-June 21, daily 10 am-6 pm

free; donations accepted to defray international shipping costs

An international art exhibition opening Saturday, May 28 promises to refute Rudyard Kipling’s famous claim.

Created and curated by Filiz Cicek, BloomingtonKatmandu will explore the concept of home in the 21st century. Showcasing the work of artists, musicians and poets from around the world as well as Bloomington, the exhibition is being staged at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center.

Cicek, an American artist and scholar whose native land is the border region between Turkey and Russian Georgia, was inspired to organize the event by the Dalai Lama’s visit to Bloomington last spring. “His vision is to turn the center into a hub of activities that will attract everyone—not just religious people, but people from all backgrounds—especially artists.”

A Home For The Arts

Founded in 1979 by Thubten Norbu, the Dalai Lama’s brother, the Center’s connection to a religion and government in exile makes it the ideal site for a group of artworks dedicated to supporting the concept that home is a portable feeling. Home, for these artists, “is a state of mind,” Cicek explains, “it’s not a place. It transcends space; it transcends geographical locations.”

Cicek studied European migrant cinema—movies made by Turks living in Germany, and Moroccans in France—to learn how transnational artists reconstitute the feeling of home. “You create a third space,” she explains, “so home is this mobile abstract place that you exist in: neither your native place you left behind, nor the place that you are living in.”

Roots And Rootlessness

One of the artists included in BloomingtonKatmandu explores this metaphysical definition of home in her paintings. A Bosnian Serb forced to flee her homeland, Svetlana Rakic, who teaches at Franklin College, explores her sense of rootlessness using the iconography of trees, in part because, as Cicek notes, “Trees can grow anywhere.”

In addition to the many international artists BloomingtonKatmandu will showcase, Bloomington artists Dale Enochs, David Ebbinghouse, Osamu James Nakagawa, Amy Brier, and Shu-Mei Chan, among others, will be represented.

BloomingtonKatmandu opens with a reception at the Tibetan Cultural Center Saturday, May 28 from 5 to 8 pm. Musical performances will be staged at various sites around the grounds by Sitaar Outreach Group, Baraka Kirtan, Salaam, Kati Gleiser , Denis Powell, Jr., Ken McGee, and Sarah Flint. Opening night festivities also include poetry readings by Patricia Coleman and Ross Gay. The visual artworks will remain on view at the facility each day through June 21.

Yaël Ksander

WFIU's Arts Desk Editor, Yaël seeks out and shepherds the stories of artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people. In addition, Yaël co-hosts A Moment of Science, writes essays for A Moment of Indiana History, produces Speak Your Mind (WFIU's guest editorial segment), hosts music and news hours throughout the week, and lends her voice to everything from accounting courses to nature documentaries. Yaël holds a MFA in painting from Indiana University, an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied languages and literature.

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