Everything and nothing is possible in Kathmandu. The longer you stay, the more you will end up with a bloody nose hitting it on (in)visible walls of social rules and regulations, but luckily also find loopholes to avoid them. Not one day is passing without somebody complaining about politics, pollution and crazy traffic jams. Anyhow, you can get the most delicious Daal Bhat and still try to find stones in the rice or hair in the curry. Most probably you will succeed, if that is your mission. Leaving the sake and satisfaction of complaining aside, why are you not just trying to cook something better yourself then?

This is exactly how the story of Kaalo.101 started: Two people being very annoyed about the sterile art and division of countercultural scenes in Kathmandu. Especially the separation of the different communities seemed to be nonsense as each one could go much further working with each other in collaborative projects. Facing the small number of people being involved in countercultures it became a mystery, why there were few strong relations between the arts, tattooing, skateboarding and other alternative lifestyles. Not to forget, that all these new movements are happening in a still traditional and culturally unbelievable rich context. This background has yet been left out while forging the new framework of contemporary countercultures. Collecting all these complaints passionately Kaalo.101 was conceived out of a moment, by radical artist, Aditya Aryal (Sadhu X) and Helena Asha Knoxx.

Aditya and Helena. Image Credits: Ian Lütz
Aditya and Helena. Image Credits: Ian Lütz

The project’s mission is to create an open, creative and diverse space to work, experiment, exhibit and discuss, in the urban environment where a safe, diverse and connective community between global and local, but also traditional and contemporary ideas, is still hard to find. Additionally, facing Nepal’s current artistic climate, aspiring local artists struggle to find spaces to exhibit their work and get access to local and global art markets. Many face rejections from the establishment due to their styles, ideas, political and social positions, which is an unfortunate symptom of working within a transcultural and evolving, but yet still conservative setting. With an open space, Kaalo.101 wants to fill this gap and support creative, passionate and committed people along their way with respect for their individual needs.

Image Courtesy: Rajan Sreshtha

The Housewarming of Kaalo.101

Besides exhibitions like Skate Break Create, the first real event of the project was the initial housewarming of the physical space. Altogether, 25 artists from different countercultures and points in life participated with their paintings, sculptures, installations, projections and music in the old house at Nagbahal, Patan. Also the neighbours submitted traditional pieces like Thankas and heaps of local Newari food to fill the bellies of all visitors and make them feel at home and welcomed in the area.

Kaalo.101 resulted as a very dynamic project changing basically according to the group working on it and the projects. It might fail sooner, later or never (wow!). Either way, the project is about using energies in a constructive way rather than sticking to complaints and negativity and sharing this same idea with other people.

Music: Flekke (, Aman KarnaBriony Disquo

Projection/Live Mapping: Shakya Dibya and Prabin Manandhar

Artists: Sudeep BallaMinod BhailaBinay GurungKovit RaiJon BarmakAnjila ManandharKeepa MaskeyShishir Pradhan, Sandya Silwal, HkdnsKiran rai.Bishal Saru MagarJohn MaEek Glass PaniZen JoshiJon BarmakAnish BajracharyaLal X TrampTona Streetart and Aditya Aryal.

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