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  • Mar 22, 2019

Cosmin Costinas Named Artistic Director of 2020 Kathmandu Triennale

COSMIN COSTINAS has been named the artistic director of the 2020 Kathmandu Triennale. Photo by Kathy Zhang for ArtAsiaPacific.

Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) and Kathmandu Triennale have appointed Cosmin Costinas as the artistic director of the festival's 2020 edition. 

The Kathmandu Triennale began as the Kathmandu International Art Festival in 2009, and was renamed in 2017. Costinas’ iteration will be held in various historically significant locations in the capital. The objectives for his edition include tackling debates concerning the pluralism of worldviews and systems, the abandonment of totalizing claims in Enlightenment philosophy, and discourses surrounding the topic of decolonization.

The event also aims to expand the understandings of art beyond how it has been defined by colonial legacies. According to the press release, “This broadening of the field [. . .] has political implications as part of an effort to decolonise our conscience.” To do this, the Triennale will foreground diverse approaches, including practices that have been systematically sidelined or discredited, such as what has been labeled as traditional “craft.” It will also highlight "contemporary practices where indigenous perspectives operate in the field of technology, where bodies and traditions are queered, where masks and rituals are the field of continuously negotiated identities rather than essences, and where folklore is the battlefield of decoloniality, counter-culture, and criticality."

Since 2011, Costinas has been the executive director and curator of Hong Kong’s Para Site art space, where he has curated and co-curated exhibitions such as “An Opera for Animals” (2019), and the touring shows “A beast, a god, and a line” (2018), “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs” (2016–17), “Afterwork” (2016–17), and “A Journal of the Plague Year” (2013–15). He has previously curated festivals such as the Dakar Biennale (2018) and the Dhaka Art Summit (2018), and co-curated the Shanghai Biennale (2014), and the Ural Industrial Biennial (2010).

Details on Costinas' artistic team for the 2020 Kathmandu Triennale will be announced in the coming months. Para Site will be a partner institution for the event. 

Xuan Wei Yap is ArtAsiaPacific’s editorial intern.

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