SAARC Handicraft Exhibition & Workshop 2019 Nepal

Venue: Patan Durbar, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Nepal
Date: 8th – 12th September 2019

Known for its rich traditional culture, the SAARC member state of Nepal has an exquisite history of handicrafts and has produced several types of artefacts created from various materials such as wood, stone, metal and fabric. Many traditional arts and crafts continue to take place in the present day, including painting, woodwork, weaving, sculpture, handicrafts with silver and other metals and paper crafts. The wooden and stone carvings that appear in abundance in and around popular heritage sights and places of worship, with their intricate work and attention to detail, are excellent examples of the expertise of Nepalese handicraftsmen and women, passed down from generation to generation.

The tradition of craftsmanship is still preserved in Nepal, ranging from textile-based handicrafts such as Pashminas, wool, hemp, felt, silk and cotton, to non-textile-based handicrafts such as creations made of wood, stone, metal, leather, bone, horn, ceramics, bamboo and handmade paper products. Traditional Dhaka fabric is widely considered the pride of Nepal. This rich local textile is woven with attractive bright colours with striking combinations which are then fashioned into different garments for men and women in a variety of weaves. These are worn extensively, and with great pride as an identifying craft of the Nepalese people. Woodcraft is perhaps one of the oldest and most popular forms of handicraft in Nepal and is practiced and passed down the generations by the distinguished clan of Newar and still holds pride of place amongst the artistic treasures of Nepal.

The SAARC Cultural Centre will celebrate this rich tradition of handicrafts and artistry with the honoured Member State of Nepal and will conduct the SAARC Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop between the 8th to 12th of September 2019 for a period of 4 days at Lalitpur in Nepal. This Programme will provide a suitable platform for the Exhibition of handmade treasures from the South Asian Region and to provide the creators of these valuable pieces of the Regions’ Heritage, a forum for discussion, interaction and exchange of valuable tools and knowledge of the trade, within an atmosphere of friendship and Regional Cooperation.

The cultural experience of sharing and exploring the handmade treasures of the Region through the SAARC Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop, has been a popular Programme within the SAARC Cultural Centre calendar and has been conducted and received in several SAARC Member States with great enthusiasm. This programme has given emphasis to the creative and clever craftsmen and women, giving them an opportunity to exhibit their products, meet other artisans from the Region and to discuss new trends and techniques within the industry.

In addition to an Exhibition and the display of crafts, there will also be the additional aim of promoting the exchange of knowledge and technical expertise amongst its artisans and to promote the development of new designs and products which are appropriate and attractive to the demands of the new world market. Lying at crossroads between the arts, business and technology, the creative industries sector comprises a large variety of creative fields, from those heavily industrialised such as advertising and marketing, broadcasting, film industries etc, to those which are less so, like cultural industries. This sector is increasingly important for the benefit of the people of the Region, from the perspective of heritage preservation and economic terms, and the SAARC Cultural Centre is committed to assisting the Region to realise its full potential.

In keeping with the Mandate of the SAARC Cultural Centre, cooperation in the field of product development and the promotion of cultural products amongst the Member States has been a consistent feature in the Programmes conducted by the Centre. Development of creative cultural enterprises and creative industries, promoting cultural product development, creation of market opportunities, exchange of information and networking arrangements is in accordance with the underlying principal of encouraging better cultural understanding between the SAARC Member States.

Through this Programme, the SAARC Cultural Centre hopes to create an opportunity to promote local handicrafts and craftsmen of the Region, facilitate the exchange of techniques and knowhow through workshops and interaction, develop the data base of information for future reference and encourage fellowship and renewed interest in the traditional and innovative handicrafts of the SAARC Region.