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Hit Man Gurung and Sheelasha Raibhandrai 

Hit Man Gurung is a mixed media artist who completed his Master’s degree from Tribhuvan University. Most of his works address the mass migration and haphazard urban development, aspects that are consequences of the ten year Maoist civil war and a reflection of an unstable, apathetic government. He uses his paintings, photo collage and installation works with political conviction and personal poetry to relay his message regarding mass labour migration. 

His work was shown in a number of group exhibitions including: 2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival; Siddharta Art Gallery; Park Art Gallery, Latitpur; Para Site Art Center, Hongkong; 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) in Brisbane, Australia; India Art Fair, 2016; and Dhaka Art Summit, 2016;

Sheelasha Rajbhandari is a visual artist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. She completed her MFA from Tribuwan University’s Center Department of Fine Arts in 2014 after receiving her BFA from Kathmandu University’s Center for Art and Design in 2010. She explores the parallel—yet, often contradictory—existence of traditional beliefs and historic ideas with contemporary events and evolving lifestyles. Her artworks usually juxtapose these contradictions and attempt to synthesize the knowledge and experiences that result from these varied discourses.

Her work was shown in a number of exhibitions including: Moesgaard Museum, Denmark (2016); Jeonbuk Museum, Korea (2016); India Art Fair; Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh; 2nd Kathmandu International Arts Festival; and Kathmandu Triennial. 

Hit Man and Sheelasha are co-founders of ArTree Nepal. Their residency together occurred March 7–24, 2019.

Since 2017 Hit Man and Sheelasha have been continuously traveling throughout Nepal and different countries for their long term, research-based collaborative project, “Who Are The Heroes of Our Time?” This series investigates the notion of shifting identity and belonging by interrogating the label of “a migrant worker” and “a diaspora” through participatory performances, visual documentation, and archival approaches. 

During their residency at Bap, Hit Man and Sheelasha’s process involved intimate conversations and engagement with the artisans of the workshops at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, some of whom shared their personal memories when working abroad in places like Qatar or as seafarers. Continuing the photographic series I Have to Feed Myself, My Family and My Country, since 2012, Hit Man and Sheelasha took portraits of artisans Rolly Cordez and Arnold “Buboy” Flores holding their passports. 

These photographs are currently on display in the exhibition “Carving Reality” curated by Inti Guerrero at Casa Quiapo in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar alongside a few of the many intricately made figurative wood carving pieces by artisans Rolly and “Buboy”, and Köken Ergun’s video installation of “Binibining Promised Land (2010).”

Before they departed Philippines, Hit Man and Sheelasha presented a talk about their practice at the Vargas Museum at UP Diliman. The recording of the event is available to view here.

 

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