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Dina Bangdel’s death saddens Nepali art fraternity
KATHMANDU : The Nepali art fraternity and artists were in shock when the news of Art Historian Dina Bangdel’s demise broke out in social media. She was recognized internationally for her expertise in South Asian and Himalayan Art. Dina died at the age of 54 on Tuesday while undergoing treatment against Meningitis. On March, the artist had undergone a surgery for sinusitis, which later resulted in the infection.
Dina, the only daughter of Lain Singh Bangdel, was also a passionate art enthusiast like her father. She was known for promoting Nepali art and artists abroad. A mentor to many artists in Nepal, she is survived by her mother, her husband and two sons.
Taking to My City, Prajwol Man Shakya, director of Bodhisattva Gallery, remembered Dina as a charismatic individual who stood out as an encouraging and inspiring figure for Prajwol. He said Dina had also mentored him in various projects.
“Dina spent her life working on and promoting Nepali artists in the international art network. She conducted countless inspiring workshops and approachable Q&A sessions that ultimately helped me and many others grow as an artiste,” said Prajwol.
The two have collaborated and organized a few art exhibitions in Nepal. Dina was friends with Prajwol’s mom. As a matter of fact, Prajwol was the first person in Nepal to take it to social media in regards to Dina’s demise. He was aware of her sickness and had “confirmed with a US-based student” before posting it on Facebook.
Saddened by Dina’s death, Art writer/Artist Madan Chitrakar recalled her strong persona and passion for art. “Although her works were not rooted in Kathmandu, she made a lasting contribution to Nepali art by promoting it in the international arena,” he said. While working together, Dina and Madan had some strong agreements and disagreements, exclusively based on the artists’ professional approach to art, rather than their personal lives.”
“She was a fighter and had strong arguments to back her opinion, which also made her credible in the field,” Madan said. He added that she had worked to create opportunities for Nepali artists to promote their work abroad. “She had become a face of Nepali art abroad,” he said. While Madan did not interact with Dina on a daily basis, he is close friends with her sons, and saddened by the loss to her family.
Ragini Upadhyay Grela, chancellor of Nepal Academy of Fine Arts, knew Dina since childhood. They shared a strong, mutual artist-curator relationship for a project wherein Dina was scheduled to help Ragini with the latter’s upcoming Australia-based exhibition. “Dina’s demise is a big loss for Nepali art and artists,” expressed Ragini in a grim tone.