par Gérard Toffin
Article paru dans la presse népalaise
The appropriation of Nepali masks by the West has not been counterbalanced by local endeavours
The cultural heritage of Nepal has many faces, bath material and intangible, same .of which are barely known in the country itself. Nepali traditional masks from the Tarai, the hills, and mountain regions are one example. These masks have been gradually uncovered since the 1970s by private European collectors and art dealers (Chazot, Pannier, Petit, among others). They have been recognised far their aesthetic qualities and powerful imagery, just like their African, Oceanic, and Polynesian counterparts, which were brought back from colonies by missionaries, dealers, and ethnographers in the nineteenth century. The same process, with a similar surge of enthusiasm and passion by a handful of Western aficionados, was repeated more than a century later in much the same way. In fact, traditional masks from all these countries, including Nepal, communicate a high degree of emotional intensity.
Préface de Françoise Pommaret
En 1786, pour ménager au nord de l’Inde des voies ouvertes au commerce, la Compagnie des Indes orientales envoie en ambassade au Bhoutan et au Tibet, le jeune captitaine Turner, avec pour seule mission d’assurer l’entourage du très jeune panchen-lama des bonnes intentions de la Compagnie… Samuel Turner se livre à des observations quasi ethnographiques qui font de cette ambassade un précieux témoignage sur les usages, les mœurs et les institutions du Bhoutan et du Tibet à la fin du XVIIIe siècle.