Exhibition at Siddhartha Art Gallery 2005
silent doorways, dark windows and soulful streets
de Herbert Grammatikopoulos
This book of my first solo photography exhibition displays all the exhibited photographs, the hanging in the gallery, some images of the inauguration, and samples of the press. The exhibition took place at ‘Siddhartha Art Gallery’ in Kathmandu, located in the beautiful ‘Barbar Mahal‘, a former part of the old Rana-style King’s palace complex of seven historic courtyards and lanes, originally built in 1919.
During my years in Nepal I did several photography exhibitions, solo as well as with groups (mainly Nepalese painters and poets) and an installation with international artists, invited by the Nepalese artists group ‘SUTRA‘ displayed to the public on Patan’s Durbar Square. Most of the exhibitions have been about unique heritages of Nepal. The central idea of my Nepalese heritage series is the search for unique human symbols and objects of certain societies and countries, regardless of which ethnic, religion or political groups. I put them into a new, sometimes unexpected context to discover what they all have in common.
My focus is on what is unifying us on this planet, rather than what is dividing us. I present a specific tradition as a unique part of a global culture. To strengthen this, I mix different medias and work together with other artists of different fields and nationalities.
In my view humanity should aim for peace and harmony, within families, between people, ethnic groups, religions, as well as cities, countries, nations. Each one of us has the power and the duty to participate in this timeless dream. Today, we have the consciousness, the knowledge and the means to reach it.
Heritage is much more than only objects or symbols – it’s about identity, dignity, identification with one’s own culture, a society, traditions and much more. Even if one individually doesn’t like to follow certain traditions, a heritage object or symbol will always remind us of our roots.
But what are these common objects and symbols - not only ones of ritual or religious purposes ? Symbols which connect people in one region, country, continent, religion, language or whatever, all over the world ? Which bring people of all kind together ? Which belong to ‘everybody’, not only to a specific group ?
Locks, as well as doors and windows, can be found in almost every society around the world. This three elements making a trinity far beyond only handicraft skills. Locks are made of metals require a high-level technology and a lot of experience. The latter led to trade over far distances, first just for prestige, later for safeness.
These ‘Nepalese heritages’ series has been presented in six exhibitions between 2005 and 2007 in Kathmandu and Patan:
- ‘Ancient Locks - Bothe Talsa, Doors & Windows’ at Siddhartha
- ‘Doors’ at NAFA (Nepal Association of Fine Arts) and The British Council, as part of the ‘Khulla Dhoka’-project (Open Doors),
- ‘Swayambhou’ at Cafe Mitra,
- ’Bells’ with painter Manish Lal Shrestha and Poet Manjul and
- ‘Moods & Mazza’ with painter Pradip K. Bajracharya on dance
and music, both at Gallery 32
Ethnologist, visual artist, fine-art documentary photographer. Born 1958. Several solo and group exhibitions in Nepal and India: photographs, installations, objects. Group exhibitions with native and international artists in nepal and India. For more information (and contact) see my web page (www.grammatix.de).