Artist Statement 

My works span social situations, intervention, architecture, urban design, and ecology, conjoining communities and local government. I use everyday technology (mobile phone) for documenting and dispersing the happenings without digital manipulation whatsoever. Blogging, filming, and field recording propagated as a means to collate and share the course of my eco-social art practice.

My projects are at once universal and deeply personal. It’s sort of a meditative observation of social patterns from which I empathize and engage with viewers at different levels. Whether interweaving connection, communities, re-thinking urban realms, my work embodies a sort of poetic sociology that invites people to reflect upon urgent conversations. I am interested not only in what art is but its empathy and ability to reach past prejudices and imp-art social progress. My creative praxis attends complex systems with necessary mediums and methods to address socio-ecological issues constantly in flux. I work transversally encircling eco-social art practice informed by Felix Guattari’s ecosophy and action research.  My installations, interventions are a nuanced introduction to my architectural fascination as well as the observation of ongoing practices. How have these [urban designs] affected public perceptions? Are those practices adequate to address socio-ecological concerns? I question, architectural engagement and disciplines in light of our current situations and call for an ethical and renewed commitment to urban renewal.

Drawing on the notion of fieldwork, and process-based inquiry, I playfully explore the complex interdependencies and understanding of social space through artistic research, direct observation, and interviews. I partner with communities, stakeholders, and city governments to re-imagine and reform public spaces while analyzing the urban politics and policies that affect our everyday. My creative stance to rethink conventional practices and challenge the traditional model has resulted in preserving and revitalize the underused public lands into parks and green spaces.

My current work is grounded in ecological restoration that connects people to natural systems. For a public project, like this, the materials are time, attitudes, political conditions, disappointments, and differences to overcome. Balancing the stakeholders, negotiating differences among these actors in a complex cross-sectoral structure, and harmonizing links between disciplines themselves is my art and architecture. With a catalog of inquiries, I explore art, science, and nature-culture relations to emphasize sustainable discourses and eco-minded actions.  Through these public impact projects, I bid sensible and pragmatic solutions to alter our environmental trajectory and aesthetic dimensions of a place; softly elucidating pathways towards symbiocene.

I work in a trans-disciplinary fashion with local laborers, builders, academics, engineers, architects, and across the humanities, sciences from a range of backgrounds in this experiential process to co-produce intended changes

Though my work evades a single movement, style, or form, there is an interconnecting link in my art makings. Some of my work can be ephemeral and some are ongoing and open-ended.One-piece informs / melds with another. 

My works are interweaved threads of my experiences and more that help me to learn about myself and the world around me.  

Milan Rai

Bio

Milan Rai is a conceptual artist, based in Nepal. He works across social situations, interventions, architecture, urban design and ecology as well as community building, and local government.

After being denied to place his public art by city authorities in 2012, He went around the city installing these art pieces in unlikely places. It stirred curiosity, wonder, and viewpoints in the passers-by. There, He began to notice neglected places and the public behavior within the shared spaces. He placed the same white butterflies on 1200 + trees marked to be cut for road widening and organized a protest which saved 25% of the trees.

 In a consumer frantic world, he started mass production of these art pieces and spread widely to reconsider art and its usage. Strangers correlating and requesting these butterflies from home and abroad transcended borders and cued inter-connectivity in a globalized world. The idea of authorship, ownership dissolved as its meaning is left open for personal interpretation. It was never limited to commodity-driven culture. Thus It operated more outside the gallery system and curatorial politics. 

Various interventions were realized parallel to this ongoing project with a motive to relocate art in everyday places and events.

This progression around his work guided him to new priorities and response (ability). He then began addressing environmental and socio-political and matters more directly in his art.

In 2017, He provoked the severity of air pollution and loss of open space and established partnerships with the local governments to address this issue. As a consequence, he founded “VRIKSHA” multidisciplinary teams working to convert misused public lands into urban parks.

His work received honorable mention for the social art award, berlin as a subject to new greening. June 2021.

He is the recipient of the Harvard University (SAI) Visiting Artist Award – 2016.

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