Colourful Nepal through the eyes of Sunanda Koning
We are used to colours. We don’t question it, as it is always there – but only in the way we know it, the way we are used to seeing it. Different places do not only have different atmospheres, people, habits and cultures. Colour is an indispensable factor.
Dutch summers mean blue skies and green fields. Winters are grey. The dark skies put a blanket of gloomy light over cities and towns, and in the countryside the clay of the empty fields only adds to the lack of colour in the landscape.
In Nepal, colour is everywhere. So much colour in fact, that sometimes you don’t see their brightness anymore. Unless you stand still for a second and start taking it all in again, focus on details and see their warmth, focus on an overall hue or tone hanging in the air and sense its depth.
A bright pink dress will make you be the centre of attention in the Netherlands. In Nepal, about every 5 minutes you’ll see a girl passing by in a pink kurta. In Amsterdam, you need to ask for permission from the municipality if you want to paint your house, and are guaranteed a refusal if your proposed colour is a bright blue. In Kathmandu, no wall, door, gate or room is complete without a bright tone, and bright blues, pinks, greens, reds and lilacs are everywhere. It seems like nothing is ever bright enough.
There is so much colour here that we tend to forget or overlook it, the way we always tend to take everything we have for granted and only ever notice what we’ve lost. Even though many things in Nepal need improvement and change, the country has such wealth in colour and beauty that it really deserves more attention. There is a certain beauty in almost everything. Even things that at first sight seem ugly, undesirable or unwanted; a weathered face, a crooked house, a pile of trash even.
By not taking any political or moral standpoint, but rather by presenting a view of Nepal in a wave of tones, Hue/Saturation shows (at a distance) the rainbow of beauty the country has to offer, and (close up) the details of various aspects of daily life and everyday things that we tend to overlook too easily.
Nepal Art Council Gallery, Babarmahal
17-23 July 2011
11am to 5pm