SPEECH BY SANGEETA THAPA
Your Excellencies, Friends and Patrons of the Arts, Members of the Media
On behalf of the Siddhartha Art Gallery, I would like to extend a warm
welcome to everyone here this Sunday evening…and a special welcome to
our Chief Guest, H.E. Mr Ring, the German Ambassador to Nepal, who has
so kindly consented to open this exhibition. Your Excellency, the
Siddhatha Art Gallery has worked closely with the German Embassy in the
past, and we look forward to your continued patronage.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the photographer
Herbert Grammatikopoulos. Herbert has been living and travelling in
Nepal for the last 3 years. He is an anthropologist by training and an
avid photographer. I looked at many of the photographs that Herbert had
taken in Nepal…and there were thousands….beautiful landscapes, wildlife
images, mountains and stupas. So we decided it was important to tie the
exhibition, with a theme . This exhibition has been titled…silent
doorways, dark windows and soulful streets….a total of 67 images take
the viewer through the less known alleyways of Kathmandu…where the
tourist peels her hardboiled egg, the sadhu makes his exit, and the ice
candyman, the street vendor, the pilgrims, the old and forgotten men and
women, children and soldiers make their entrance to converge on these
soulful streets and live their daily lives.
Every now and then Herbert’s camera points up at the dark windows that
over look these streets and at the silent doorways that open up into
mysterious courtyards, he focuses on the incredibly beautiful doors from
antiquity… some padlocked….some beguilingly half- open, that we pass,
but overlook. Herbert captures our crumbling and neglected heritage with
his lens and much more…
I know that this is Herbert’s first exhibition…some of the photographs
could have been more powerful had they been bigger…there is also an
eagerness to include a lot….these are minor details. I would like to
congratulate Herbert on his first photographic exhibition and wish him
I would now like to invite H.E. Mr Franz Ring to say a few words…..
I would now like to invite Herbert to say a few words…
Sorry, the speech of H.E. Mr Franz Ring is not avalable.
SPEECH BY HERBERT
Namaskar to all of you!
I’m really happy and overwhelmed by such a big audience coming to the
opening of my first photo exhibition at Siddhartha Gallery.
Thank you so much.
First I have to thank Sangeeta Thapa and her team, who helped me so much
and gave me the opportunity to exhibit a selection of some of my
thousands of photographs I shot all over Nepal since I arrived in my now
host country in August last year.
Also I have to thank my special guest, His Excellency the German
Ambassador to Nepal, Mr. Franz Ring, for his support and for Opening
this Exhibition. And I want to thank all my loved friends and my wife,
who pushed me forward to do the exhibition.
As a cultural scientist and anthropologist, photographing since three
decades, I present you images, which are the result of my very personal
view, still as a stranger on contemporary Nepali life through the lens.
Photography is reducing the world around to a part of a second, just
keeping a certain passed away moment alive for the future; but at the
same time it focuses your eye on details, you may have not expected before.
I present you pictures/images, which bend a bow from ancient, partially
forgotten handicraft skills, such as the art of sancho making. Even
while photographing, the soulful streets of Kathmandu, the bright
colours and the juxtaposition of certain images seem to detract from the
harshness and reality of the unfolding poverty as it appears in daily life.
Photographing people, as portraits or in motion and especially at work,
became my favourite theme. Fine art photography to me, is capturing a
combination of a certain situations- including the objects and an idea
in (my) mind of it’s ideal solution, imbued with aspects of human
experience, including the dignity of people, a unique expression of
soul, beauty and sensuality, transforming the current situation/moment
with form and objects into a composition; similar to a painter using
colours from pigments, so I do it with the sunlight.
Now, please, come, enter, see and enjoy