colour group gb event… colours of india – every day life

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Colours of India - Professor Michel Albert-Vanel - multi-coloured Hindu temple.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to listen to French Professor Michel Albert-Vanel, invited by the Colour Group GB to share his fascinating insights on the ‘Colours of India’. Here is just a short extract with some wonderful images.

Travelling across India, and especially across Southern India, is a true delight. We bathe there constantly within the colour of saris, of the powder pigments in the markets, in the architectural polychromies of the extreme colouring of Hindu temples, which often runs up against the western sensitivity.

Colours of India - Professor Michel Albert-Vanel - powder colour.

When we come back to Europe, we have the impression that all is uncoloured and faded. More than a simple problem of sensitivity, it also hides a relation to life, and spirituality, which is totally different.

In India, the colour is completely essential and we make a big mistake if we only looked at it from a purely aesthetic angle.

Colour in Everyday life
In the Rajasthan, each city has its dominant colour: Agra is red, Jaisalmer is yellow,Jodhpur is blue, Udaipur is white, Jaipur is pink, and finally, Mandawa and Nawalgarh are famous for their polychromies.

Colours of India - Professor Michel Albert-Vanel - blue buildings.

Colours of India - Professor Michel Albert-Vanel - polychromies.

In Southern India, the situation is very different, and instead of a dominant colour of a city, freedom and anarchy seem to rule. Everybody has painted his own house as he likes it, and it seems that nobody would like to repeat the choice of somebody else!

When comparing with western cultures, the difference is obvious due to the fact that in Europe, especially in France, we seek to harmonise, for every building to happily incorporate into a unit. We have even enacted laws and regulations on this end. However in Southern India, there is nothing like that. All is subjected to the free enterprise, and everybody exerts his freedom, as he wants!

I think you’ll agree Professor Michel Albert-Vanel has raised some very interesting and thought provoking observations.

What do you think? Do you like uniformity of colour or the ability to use the colours to express yourself?

About Professor Michel Albert-Vanel



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