The COVID-19 crisis has posed massive challenges to people worldwide. Our struggles with lockdown, restrictions and the unknown is a shared reality across the world.

During this time we have grappled with questions such as – did the public space ever really belong to us? When our physical body and external experiences are detained, what possibilities open up within our mind and in our imagination? When we are trapped within four walls, what are the new meanings we give to ‘space’? Can our personal struggles birth art that touches us collectively? This year has brought a halt in our normal lives and a halt in our dreams. In this time of indefinite pausing – what is the power, potential and pain that exists in that space?

Keeping these questions in mind, we invited ten emerging artists from Kathmandu to participate in a one month intensive project that interrogated the concepts of MOVEMENT- RESTRICTION – SPACE. Under the guidance of two mentors and workshops from ten professional artists on various forms of expression including analog and digital photography, wheatpaste, calligraphy, zine and poetry, the participating artists received creative inspiration and guidance in bringing their very own visual imagery to life.

Scroll down to see work of each artist.

Adeline Dahal


I feel emotions to a degree where I believe I require them to be poured out through a medium that does justice to it. I write, paint, sketch and occasionally make things out of junk. I climb trees and sometimes even enjoy falling from it to stand on my feet; that momentary sting of pain is good. I believe in giving myself the freedom to express myself in ways I desire and I have a knack for anything and everything old school.


In the pandemic, I was constantly surrounded by my family while simultaneously being away from “my” people on the outside. As an extrovert who thrives around people, and the dynamics surrounded around those relationships, this took a toll on me.

The things that happened next were two folds – I was able to work on and understand the relations and emotional presence that my family had on me. The other part being me trying to understand myself as an individual without the relational dynamics of my people surrounding my immediate presence.

This project ‘anyone:anywhere’ is a visual representation of diving beyond the barriers of my skin to understand the significance of letting people within that space, but not being able to be around those same people who shape me.

: @aaduhlean

Anyone: Anywhere

If space was contained within four walls
Of cracked skin and withered bones
Joyous fools revel on tides of tomorrow.
Confinement knows no rearranged fraction of seconds,
On the line of love, pressure and identity
We are forever searching
Amongst insurmountable odds
Yearning and lurking for happiness that sets one free
To be alone and on your own
Is something that comes not in warmth
Just in uncertainty.
For what I hold within, are pieces of them under my skin
Etched on layers
My compact walls are bound to crumble
There shall be no tomorrow
Under sunlit skies and starry nights from my window,
Around pieces of them that make pieces of me
This is more than a shift onto planes of unknown
Within known faces and sorrow,
In times’ grasp, our fate lies unpredicted,
You ask,
Dear, what is it that defines you?
These uncharted grounds within yourself or onward
Bound to lease your life away day to day –
Only sane cause of people that you hold on to.

Biplav Shrestha


I recently finished my MBA in Marketing at the tail-end of 2020. A creature of habit by nature, and a freelance writer by profession, I bought my first mirrorless digital camera in 2019 and have been steadily developing my skills behind and, more recently, in front of the lens. Always a keen admirer of the creative arts, I decided to take some time off academics and work, to indulge in an artistic pursuit. This is my first attempt at creating an artistic body of work for the public.


The pandemic came without any notice, and normal life as we knew it, quickly came to an abrupt halt. But as human beings, it is in our nature to adapt to any change that comes our way. While some found ways to navigate through this intricate new labyrinth that they found themselves in, others took a more personal approach and decided to use their time to venture inwards, hoping to find parts of themselves that they had lost through a lifetime of neglect.

The series ECHOES FROM THE VOID is a conceptual photo project that explores the subject’s battle with persistent insanity and a sense of meditative self-reflection during the initial months of the lockdown. The photographs act as windows through which the audience can vicariously experience his processes of coming to terms with the feeling of isolation and finding peace. The colors have been chosen to emphasise on an ongoing battle inside of the subject’s mind between two opposing forces of madness and clarity. The white borders represent in each image the sense of confinement and restriction that the subject is feeling.

The picture series is accompanied by a set of narrative letters that describe the chaotic internal monolog of the subject. As the subject-matter itself is vague and operates in a realm outside of quantifiable understanding, the literature also reflects the sentiment and seeks to act as more as a coping mechanism for the subject himself rather than as a legible description of the accompanying images.

: @lazernobody

Dear Ell,

It feels like a lifetime since I last wrote to you. Please know that this sudden arrival of an echo from a lost friend is not without intent or reason. My purpose for reaching out to you is so that I can hopefully find my sanity. You see, things have been looking hazy both within and around me lately. During these uncertain times, I cannot help but think that I myself am morphing into these cold walls that are here to shelter me.

I have spent so much time here, that even if my eyes were to lose their light, I could still maintain my hopeless trajectory by dragging my blistered palms across these crumbling concrete. And this silence! It feels almost deafening at times. If I concentrate hard enough, I can almost feel its reverberations crashing inside my head, and I fear that if I don’t find a way out of this twilight undertow, soon it will start crushing my soul as well, I’m sure of it.

Dear Ell,

What will remain of me then if that were to happen? When the last atom of the person I am falls off my being and gets pulled into the coldness of the night. Will I still be the person I was before? All too often I find myself lying awake in this silence – a captive of my own making. Staring at these four walls, they somehow appear different each time I look at them. Are they also morphing like my mind is?

During sleepless nights my bed sheets scrape my skin like sandpaper, constantly scratching the soles of my restless feet. At the precipice of my thoughts, I can hear my shadows whispering “Give in to the new norm”. The days here are long and draining and I feel old and weary. Despite all of my possessions, my reflection is my sole company. The burden of my progress lies upon myself.

Dear Ell,

The twilight has had its say. I now firmly believe that if I am to find my answers, I will find them within the echoes of this concrete labyrinth that I’ve confined myself within. During my stay here I’ve had some time to reflect on my melancholy. As my mind started to drift away, with the last vestige of my sanity, I reached out and caught myself from slipping into a downward spiral. We are indeed the summation of our traumas, the endpoint of our personal conclusions. We might bruise easily, but we are also quick to heal. I am almost certain that I myself am the ghost that haunts me. There is no other explanation.

I hope the vulnerability I have exposed in these letters does not dilute the strength I carry in your memories. I seek but an empathizing ear to direct my wandering thoughts onto. Perhaps by the time this reaches you, my chains will have disintegrated and I will have shed this current shell. Perhaps I will have come out as a new man, one capable of making sense of his place in time. Till then!

Heena Gyawali


Having spent my childhood in many places, I developed a keen interest in surroundings and their creation. Since then, I was interested in sketching and making structures out of paper, clay and Legos. This sparked a curiosity in my mind to look at the world being created around me.

Academia helped to strengthen my curiosity and backed it up with technical knowledge but my major learning happened during my internship when I was introduced to the reality of my inquisitive mind. This period changed my way of being as I learned from people with diverse backgrounds.

It helped me develop interpersonal communication, professional communication and most importantly a habit of ‘self-initiation’. Initially, it was hard to make believe that something distinguishable can be done but having a strong design philosophy helped me through the struggle and create a team that can take up any challenge. The process still going on which keeps us growing in one way or the other.

It is important to have a strong design thinking and elevated will power to sustain in the backdrop where value of design is yet to be realized to its full potential. During the 3 year of architecture journey of the studio challenging myself and my team has been a key factor in creating motivating and learning environment.

It is important to realize that every project and every competition comes with un-dealt query and the key to success lies in finding those hidden clue and generate living built environments. All in all I have realized one thing ‘it is our wit and the will that creates the world we are proud to dwell into’.


CATHARSIS OF EMOTIONS explores the vast idea of self- love through the process of introspection as a woman. The beginning of the series portrays the dichotomy of mind/ thought and the questions about the purpose of our existence. These rippling waves intrigued me to dive in depth and ask, “Why is it abnormal if I choose not to follow the blueprints of society?”

As I contemplated my dual thought, I noticed how others were becoming disappointed by my actions. This was the time I took to cultivate self-love because I realized how important it is to take the time to love yourself instead of thinking about the disappointment of others.

The idea of a perfect human being doesn’t exist and my series captures this idea through reflecting different emotions in each slide. It took me a really long time to accept the true value of self-love which was fragmented in a different phrase with different meanings.When we see about self love in internet/instagram it always shows a happy filter with a pinky smile on the face, going on a long trek or a christmas trip to Europe but none of them makes aware about the awful side when you feel claustrophobic sleeping alone in your own room. Self-love is ugly at times, in fact many times it shatters your belief system as you feel you are becoming nasty, demanding – an angry bitch. You become repulsive of everyone’s action because you decide to stop for external validation. It is an explosion of darkness and creates understanding to become resilient even when you feel torn inside.

: @arch_aspirant



I’m Himal, currently living in Kathmandu. I’m learning and understanding various mediums and using them to represent me, people around me, and the philosophy, culture, our socio-economic condition and beliefs. In my art I aim to give my own perspective about things that draw my attention, from the complexities of our existence to a simple street dog.


My project CHOOSE TO COMPLY is about restrictions, not necessarily a physical boundary we cannot cross but a socio-cultural one, and more specifically – religious boundaries.

These boundaries are deeply rooted in our philosophy, culture, community and our homes. We restrict others and ourselves based on an idea as abstract as gods.

But the thing about the restrictions set by religion is how people hesitate to go against them. It seems like it has found a way to have power over not only those who believe in it, but also those who don’t.

: @himal_811


We know that there is a virus outside. But we are a stubborn species and we saw many people actively denying the existence of the virus just so they could get over these restrictions. I did break the regulations every once in a while yet telling others to follow these restrictions made me feel like the group that set those restrictions and it is oddly satisfying.

Is freedom worth dying for?

And freedom in this sense doesn’t mean a glorious political or a philosophical freedom. It was more like, “freedom to risk my life with my own free will”. But we chose these restrictions and followed them as far as possible. Restrictions are everywhere, even those things that claim to liberate us are restricting, like the gods. The gods claimed to free us from the worldly sufferings but all they do is restrict us in this very world. Not just the religions, but the daily norms, the breakfast at 6 and the obsession of us as a species to track and understand everything everyone does restricts us.

Religion is an easy target, we all know it controls us, we have accepted that even if we don’t always like that. Even those who preach the word of god seem to break their own rules instead of renouncing their religion because secretly breaking the rule means you can still judge the others for openly breaking those same rules. Some go the other way. They openly preach about breaking these norms until they realize they have become the part of this ever growing norm. The ones who want to break all the rules still have rules about the ways they’re going to break those rules and one day they will become the status quo and the cycle continues.

Religious people seem very proud of themselves for following these rules. Criticizing them always gets a strong response. We criticize it, people will come up with clever metaphors to defend an abstract idea they revolve around while making sure they don’t sound very stupid doing it. An abstract idea like a god is very hard to defend. But when you have lived your whole life following this particular idea, a challenge against the idea becomes a challenge against your very existence. But the people who carry this restriction given by the abstract god seem very enthusiastic about restricting others. Yes, it is restricting me, but if I act like I choose these restrictions with my own free will and pass them on to someone, then maybe that makes me the big man, maybe even a “mini god”.

People follow religions because it’s a social thing. I could break all the rules and restrictions because I know there’s no god. However I also know that there are people around me, people who revolve their life around ‘the god’ and to leave me to be judged by ‘the god’ is not something they can afford.

Even though I disagree with religion I still treat it very delicately, making sure I don’t offend anyone’s ‘beliefs’. Because to comply is easier than to resist and every time I comply I feel like the power in me to resist gets lower and lower till one day I will probably fully embrace the idea of ‘the god’ and maybe even pass them down to others. To comply and fit in is easier than to resist and struggle.

Pratik Gurung


I recently completed my Masters in Nepal. I am passionate about photography. I do not start anything until I have a clear structure of the process which makes my work manageable and easy to follow for all kinds of audience. I am often outspoken about my moral compass which some find intimidating but that is the very reason I end up building deeper human connections with the people who are willing to get vulnerable with me.


During the lockdown, all of us encountered different challenges; mentally, emotionally and physically. This year was tough for everyone. We were restricted to go out. We had to lock ourselves in order to be safe. All this limited our movement, and though we were in our own zones, we did not feel comfortable and struggled to work from home or do everything inside our own house.

I’m sure we all came up with new hobbies during the lockdown. I did a lot of activities to engage and distract myself: I started reading a lot of books, meditated using a singing bowl, started practicing calligraphy, learned how to play ukulele, baked, and started my own podcast.

For my project UNFOLDING SENSES I use multiple exposures for these photographs. In these frames I will perform few of the activities that I did during the lockdown. Along with these photos, I recorded the sounds of the objects/activities displayed in the frames.

: @_ms.p.gg_

Oshin Bista


I am a researcher and an aspiring visual artist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Moving back and forth between places has complicated my understanding of the concepts of “home” and “belonging”. Thus, I use my art as the means through which I navigate these concepts. Much of my art work takes forms of quick one-line drawings or doodles, but I also work with charcoal and water colors.

When in big groups, I am often the silent backbencher who absorbs and doodles, but I can talk for days when it comes to emotions and stuff that I am passionate about (Socialism and cookies!).


I explore in CLAIMING CONTROL how the restriction of both emotional expression and physical distance from society during the pandemic made me question the greater restrictions of movement and expressions I have experienced in our society. I juxtapose what a conservative, misogynist society does to a female artist with how resiliency and passion on the artist’s part negotiates the boundaries that social norms establish around them.

The message, regardless of its tone, is written in calligraphy to showcase the power of social norms and hierarchies to dismiss the wickedness of misogynist messages, if not to deliver them to society in fabricated ways.

: @oshin46

Claiming Control

to silence me with love or lust, or tie me down with your “unquestionable authority”
to shake this unshakable drive of mine, which refuses to see what you have staged for my eyes to see and for my eyes only.

you resemble to me this familiar nightmare,
the one that accompanies me into the long nights;
the uneasiness ripping my throat, unleashing the block of silence

Oh norms,
how you make me experience estrangement and belonging at the same time
the indestructible flaw of humankind
When you whispered loudly, “You can’t have it”
I decided that I wanted.

I fight with you a battle that never started or will end,
my attempts so miniscule before your power ingrained.
It is not naivety but the pleasure to persist
I lack control, but I resist.


Samikshya Paudel


I am Samikshya. Though I am a reader and I scribble through my notes once in a while, I don’t think a handful of words could ever define who I am or how I see the world around me. I have an incessant love and fascination for mountains and water bodies.I mostly am an observant and an introvert but at all times a feminist. I believe in being empathetic, compassionate and in the guidance of intuitions. I really hope I can give back to the world as I have received from it.


My project is about my journey of self-acceptance and inner growth. The series revolves around the idea of “self” that changed for me during the pandemic in response to the boundaries brought by the lockdown thus touching on the theme of “movement-restriction-space”. I have tried to trace the idea of the gap between who we think we are in our head and who we really are in real life: how our emotions lose some of their substance in translation. It explores the liquidity of our being and how we rely on our sense of belongingness and how we exist beyond that, the harmony between duality of things, how things make sense only in paradoxes.

: @samikshyapaudel_


I find myself in a never-ending hunt for my sense of belongingness. The notion of fitting in has been a conscious pursuit since I remember having a perception of my perpetually unfolding layers of identity. With the lockdown, I remember leaving behind most that defined my sense of self by moving to my family home to quarantine with the people I shall always belong. As I weave together the multi faceted being that I am, I become more in tune with the idea that my spirit is a kaleidoscope, my belongingness is not black or white, it’s everything in between and further beyond. The more I try to carve out my soul, the unsettling melancholy of my heart demands an eclipse, I feel strangely sluggish but then gasp to realize that stillness is a dance too. Am I a yard bird, trapped among the fringes of my home; everywhere to wander and nowhere to go? Albeit my marrow is made of stardust, I happen to be a prisoner of my psyche.


The ripples from maneuvers of after-hours dawned on me like a healing balm for my chapped lips. I now have started to come in tune with the idea that I should not be ‘this’ or ‘that’ to always belong. The weary knight that I am is made of dust specks radiating all the mysteries of the world to the waves of feminine that arise within me. Only when you accept and appreciate who you are and the space you are in, you shall be able to look through your kaleidoscopic soul, lucid as it could be. Otherwise, you are just another ship bobbing in the ocean without a rudder. Learning how to pour all your faith on the voyage has definitely been crafty. I now have started giving and finding ways to receive from the space I lay in. I am not afraid of my sails either. For I realised my introversion can wander into the depths of the universe and back. After all, without a story, who am I?


She has started to believe in the wisdom of her womb, wrestling then resting her to mother earth so that her wandering thoughts can finally surrender to the mud and unworldly. I embody my own muse of transformation. Hungry for belongingness, bereft confrontation with the mirror, you were allowing your truth to be sublimated, dear one. Whilst awake and walking, there I go transcribing my burgeoning discern: Albeit my hands are trembling, my intentions are unwavering. When you listen beneath the surface of an eerie eclipse, you smell the sentiment of your moon. The duality that fabricates you. From where you originate, to whom you return; unhesitant to rewire your synchronicity. Your consciousness reconciles, salutes your vulnerability: it is possible to be fragile and tough at the same instances. You and your inner self are left handed lovers; dangling palindrome temperaments.

Shivangi Bansal


I am an art seeker and an aesthete by nature. I am interested in the metaphysics of things and aim to explore it more closely through my practice. An arts manager and curator by profession, I run my own space, bringing together contemporary artists around the valley, curating and overseeing their work through various programs and exhibitions. I participated in this residency to understand the artists’ process better and also explore another strand of our art world.


HOURGLASS is a process-oriented depiction of the numerous thoughts that undergo in one’s mind during a given time to complete a task. A representation to show our mind’s nature of self-preservation.

This body of work is driven by the medium of a camera obscura. I have set up my personal space as a camera obscura and have documented my process of hiding the light in my room. This work shows the multiple attempts made through various mediums of paper, fabric, cardboard to cover all the openings of light passing in my room. The final leg of the work is a series of images that show what’s outside my room, it’s reflection and a juxtaposition of the two.

HOURGLASS is an encapsulation of the external vs internal, metaphorizing the personal space as our minds. It asks the audience to think about the various nuances of their thoughts and observe their own reflections of what they see as ‘external’ and ‘internal’.

: @shivangi488

As I sit here at my workspace and see the concrete and nature outside of the room, I cannot help but wonder what others are seeing. Do they notice what’s happening in other houses or the bird that did not come to their balcony that morning?

We sit at a certain place but our mind on most occasions wanders to another place. Almost always, we are never really where we are.

The camera obscura experience has made me think about the cracks which all of us live in. The cracks of our mind, the cracks around us that only exist to let the light in. It appears that we spend our lives covering all the cracks to leave only one tiny space open. Through this space we take in everything that is outside of us in its truest reflection.

Our mind wants to be a camera obscura. But the multiple cracks that we wear bring forward distractions and stray us away from seeing things as they are. We are all collectively trying to uncover this about ourselves through various methods, but perhaps going inwards means truly closing the cracks permanently and not just putting masking tape on it.

Stuti Sharma


I am Stuti. It’s always hard to put into words who you are. On paper, I am an aspiring environmentalist and writer, someone who likes dry British humor and loves Radiohead and animals. The usual things you say seem interesting. I feel though I am a little bit of everything and this is something I now realize is a vital part of me. All that I do whether it is dabbling in digital art or performing spoken word or reading a book, is to connect to the world around me and try to understand it (and if I don’t, to accept that).


My work speaks about dualism in a person. I have struggled with balance in my life. Sometimes I eat 1200 calories a day and do yoga and lift weights and other days I’m in my bed eating jars full of peanut butter and Pimbahal chips. Sometimes I read War and Peace while other days I am memorizing TikTok choreography. I wanted my work to reflect this duality where you don’t have to feel your best all the time and you don’t have to be anxious if you are not ‘productive’ in the capitalist sense of the word.

: @studleyjames24

Aaisha Adhikari


It is in the details where I get dwelled into, in order to find myself. It’s in the chaos where I seek to find a place I can call home. It’s in the hours of practice and passion that helps ignite a spark of seconds. I seek to learn, unlearn and relearn through the details being witnessed. That’s pretty much about me.


The lockdown was surely one hell of a stagnation. My experience was all about memes, television series and expressing myself in different forms of art. Driven away with meme culture, I increased the volume of introverted emotions within me. MEMES FOR MENTAL SPACE consists of the popular internet phenomenon accompanied by writings. The images aim to fight back at sexist phrases and also create an awareness about thinking critically about messages that memes deliver. The memes have their ways to convince us about a particular notion. Hence, I think we should realize the importance of thinking rationally before hitting that “share” button.

: @aishha___

My dearest future son,

I see you growing wiser, unlearning the tagged labels created by misogynistic minds. I see you doing the dishes while your sister is cutting onions or while watching TV maybe. I see you crying along with Rose every time you watch Titanic. I see you wearing pink and trust me you look hot. I see you struggling to lift up the basket filled with kitchen utensils. Need some help, buddy? I see you asking for help without any hesitation. I see you finding art in makeup. I see you applying your first eye shadow on your sister’s eyelids. I see you shutting up the uncle who used the phrase “men will be men.” For you know it’s merely an excuse to be the douchebag. I see you unlearning the toxic traits and creating ways to live and let live. I see you loving what you do and doing what you love.

My dearest future daughter,

I see you growing braver; questioning the details of the irrelevant practices happening around. I see you speaking up LOUDER; no more idealizing the culture of silence. I see you standing up for sisterhood if any guy happens to mention that you’re not like other girls. I see you rocking your karaoke sessions in your pjs and also slaying your sexy black dress in your parties. I see you letting your heart out and cry during the emotional scenes. And I also see you breaking some bones if anybody dares call you a drama queen. I see you unlearning the toxic traits and creating ways to live and let live. I see you loving what you do and doing what you love.