Gardner Visiting Artist Fellow, 2010–2011
Kevin Bubriski first began photographing Nepal in 1975, when he was stationed there as a Peace Corps water engineer. In the decades that followed he continued to shoot in Nepal, creating a large documentary record of the country.
“My photographs of Nepal are an inside observer’s way of entering into and coming to understand a foreign land that was my home for nine years,” says Bubriski. “The Fellowship will allow me to explore and share the visual anthropology and recent cultural history of Nepal.” He describes that history as an “evolution from an exotic destination for overland European travelers in the 1970s, political turmoil and strict monarchic rule in the 1970s and 1980s, democracy movement of 1990, the ten-year civil war from 1996 to 2006, to the current precarious peace.”
With the Robert Gardner Visiting Artist Fellowship, Bubriski will continue his photographic documentation of Nepal’s Karnali Zone this year and then be in residence preparing his material for publication.
Bubriski has previously collaborated with the Peabody Museum, curating an exhibition of anthropologist-photographer Michael Rockefeller’s work and writing the accompanying book published by the Peabody Museum Press. “Kevin Bubriski’s own work is distinguished,” said William L. Fash, William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum. “Nepal is both a remote and salient part of the world, one that the Peabody would be well served to represent in its photography collections and publications, particularly given the very large and significant collections we have from neighboring Tibet. The kinds of documentation that Kevin has engaged in for three decades now are very much in an anthropological (‘human condition’ and politics) vein that is of universal interest.”
About Kevin Bubriski
Bubriski’s previous photographic work in Nepal has been funded through photography purchases by Robert Gardner, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the International Center of Photography, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. It has been recognized and supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1988), the Fulbright Foundation (1989–90), and Guggenheim Foundation (1995–96). His Nepal Photography Project (1985-88) was funded by Harvard University’s Film Study Center.
He is the author of Portrait of Nepal (Chronicle) and Michael Rockefeller: New Guinea Photographs, 1961 (Peabody Museum Press). Bubriski teaches photography at Union College, New York.