Enews letter – November – december 2014


Bhutan: Journey beyond the sky

With Ca’ Foscari University of Venice as sponsorship

After the great success of the “Nepalese Shamanic Art” exhibit, which welcomed more than 15.000 visitors, ICI Venice – International Cultural Institute will inaugurate a new exhibition entitled “Bhutan: Journey beyond the sky, next December 6, 2014.

ICI Venice Magazzino del Caffe Venezia Bhutan BHOUTAN ca foscari Fornasetti flyer

The highlights of the exhibition are a fine selection of Bhutanese ethnographic art pieces, the slides show and the documentary movie “Bhoutan: un petit pays possedé du ciel”, made in 1972 by the two French documentary makers Anne e Ludovic Segarra.

The aim of ICI is to offer ethnographic art exhibitions which create a link and an uninterrupted   dialogue between the local heritage and the contemporary time.

For the “Bhutan: a journey beyond the sky” exhibition, the curatorial choice is built around two themes: on the one hand , the intention is to highlight the long process prior to the completion of the documentary film, a process that will dictate the guidelines of the set; on the other hand the choice of the Scientific Commissioner to give great emphasis on the traditional Bhutanese textiles, exhibiting a collection of rare textiles from Britain, a choice that without any doubts recalls the great Venetian houses textiles as Bevilacqua, Rubelli, Fortuny, etc.

The space, the coffee warehouse, will be completely transformed : travel cases and trunks, an old hand projector with rare slides taken during the shooting of the film , incredibly rare and valuable textiles, and the screening of the documentary film “Bhutan: un petit pays possedé du ciel”, will create the right atmosphere to lead the visitor to discover this small State, so far as it is fascinating to our eyes.

For this new adventure ICI has decided to create a synergy among one of the seven arts of Bhutan, the textile indeed, and the internationally renowned Italian contemporary design Fornasetti Milan, integrating panels covered with its printed paper “Nuvole” (Clouds) to the scenery.


Title: “Bhutan: a journey beyond the sky”

Date: December 06, 2014 – March 01, 2015

Place: ICI-Magazzino del Caffè, Santa Croce 923- 30135 Venezia

Telephone Number: 0039 041 720507

mailto: info@icivenice.com

Sponsorship: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Support: Alliance Française of Venice, Fornasetti, Cole and Son, Merchant of Venice, Fondation Malongo, “Le Toit du Monde” Gallery of Paris

 Beyond the exhibition:

Screening to the documentary film “Bhoutan: un petit pays possédé du ciel”

Introduction by Veronique Prost – Guimet Museum’s Auditorium -Paris

Saturday November 29, 2014 – 06:30pm

Alliance Française of Venice – Casino Vernier


Screening to the documentary film “Bhoutan: un petit pays possédé du ciel”

Introduction by Alain Carou – Audiovisual Department of BNF-Bibliothèque Nationale Française

Friday December 05, 2014 – 05:30pm

ICI-Magazzino del Caffè-Santa Croce 923- Venezia


Meeting with Fabian Sanders, Ca’ Foscari University’s professor, talk about the historical and   the cultural aspects of Himalaya’s zone whit a particular focus to Bhutan.    

Wednesday December 17, 2014 – 05:00pm

ICI – Magazzino del Caffè – Santa Croce 923 – Venice

Meeting with Stefano Beggiora, Ca’ Foscari University’s professor, leaded by the theme “The State of Bhutan today and its key role in the geopolitics of Himalaya”.   

Saturday January 17, 2015 – (time…)

ICI – Magazzino del Caffé – Santa Croce 923 – Venice

Conference on the theme of “Travel” in cooperation between the association “Bhutan’s Friends”, Stefano Beggiora from Ca’ Foscari University and the writer Franca Rizzi Martini. Presentation of the book “Il barattolo di mandorle. Una donna in viaggio intorno all’Himalaya”

February 2015, (date and time …)  

ICI – Magazzino del Caffè – Santa Croce 923 – Venice

Dialogs on the fabric: from the Bhutanese textiles to those of Venice 

Presented by Marina Majcen – artist, professor and fabric expert

February 2015, (date and time …)

ICI – Magazzino del Caffè – Santa Croce 923 – Venezia


Free workshop for kids by shadow theatre.

Organized by Macinapepe Association – Society of Shadow

February 2015, (date and time …)

ICI – Magazzino del Caffè – Santa Croce 923 – Venice



In December 2012, ICI organized the first exhibition on Bhutan in Paris, by the Art Gallery “Le 5 Opéra- Compagnies Du Monde”. For the production of this first exhibition in Paris were on display, as well as the projection of slides taken during the filming of the documentary movie “Bhoutan: un petit pays possédé du ciel” made by Anne e Ludovic Segarra, a series of Bhutanese masks and ethnographic objects of incredible beauty and prestige.



1972 is a very important date in the Bhutan history as the country had its first opening to tourism and foreign visitors.

The third King of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck dead in Nairobi and his son Jigme Singye Wangchuck ascended the throne and continued the openness policy inaugurated by his father.

Thanks to this initial openness and a policy projected into the future, to Buddhism soaked in every sector, and setting the National Day of Happiness and Cultures, Bhutan had a huge development.

In 1972, Anne and Ludovic Segarra, aware of the rapid changes that were to happen, asked the young Royal approval for the start of filming of the documentary that after almost two years of negotiations, he accepted.

The documentary was filmed in 1975 by Anne e Ludovic Segarra and is one of the greates examples of such profound process of change of Bhutan. After more than 30 years, this documentary makes a fine view of the country evolution for those who already know it or who will find out in an upcoming trip.



Too much time has passed.

For over 30 years, my wife and I, my friends Stephan with the camera and Lucie at the sound, have traveled all over the country.

This film…is our youth….is my youth

The events of ’68 with those questions and the research of meaning…

And both the West right and left wings with their eyes fixed on the future…

Then we arrive in Bhutan, exactly in the courtyard of a large monastery in Thumphu, where we see a liturgy ceremony in honor of Padma Sambava, the Rimpoche Guru.

A shock!

A blast from the past…

That ceremony…was like reliving the Christian Middle Ages in front of the imposing cathedrals.

And even after all this time which has passed?

I still have in my head all the meetings, the looks, the sense of sweetness and even a rare feeling…the expression of a deep consistency where everything is blended but perfectly balanced between man and nature.

Landscapes, architectures and Dzongs houses, colors and patterns of the garments and fabrics, a hand when shooting an arrow, another drawing in the air with a sword, one dancing foot before the exit of the masks and some feet that compress wheat…

Everything here is both physical and spiritual.

This meeting, this shock, has influenced all my works until now. We have the duty to collect every treasure of humanity before it is too late since those rare examples are the expression of the compendium between man and his surroundings.

In my opinion Bhutan, as we found out, is not only an individual but a collective expression of this compendium.

This is what I am feeling and what I have tried to describe with my wife Anne, who found it like “un petit pays possédè du ciel.

Ludovic Segarra 1948-2007





ICI International Cultural Institute

Olivier Perpoint, Chi Phan, Mariarosaria Fogliaro, Martina Masini, Francesca Salvi, Hélène Touzé, Chantal Valdambrini

 Francois Pannier– Scientific Curating/ Ethnographic Art Scholar

Anne Segarra – Archive Anne and Ludovic Segarra representative



 ICI – International Cultural Institute – Venice, Italy

Archive Anne and Ludovic Segarra – Paris, France                     www.icivenice.com

With the participation of:

Le Toit du Monde – Francois Pannier

Himalayan Ethnographic Art Gallery in Paris               www.letoitdumonde.com













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